Manly Sea Eagles endured a miserable evening at GIO Stadium, losing three players to injury during a 30-18 defeat to the hands of Canberra Raiders.
The Sea Eagles struck first on Friday, Daly Cherry-Evans darting under the posts following an impressive step inside.
However, Cherry-Evans (ankle) and half-back partner Jamie Lyon (leg) were subsequently forced off - along with Brenton Lawrence (pec) - and Manly briefly had no options on the interchange bench as Jamie Buhrer left the field for a head injury assessment, before later returning.
The ruthless Raiders took advantage of their opponents' fitness woes to surge into a 30-6 lead inside the opening hour, with a courageous late fightback from the depleted visitors proving in vain.
Brenko Lee cancelled out Cherry-Evans' opening try and Canberra hit the front for the first time two minutes before the interval when Joseph Leilua held off several defenders before offloading for Josh Hodgson to dummy over.
Leilua played a significant role in a try for another Englishman early in the second half, the powerful centre timing an offload to perfection during a superb last-tackle play that was rounded off by Elliott Whitehead.
Manly soon conceded further tries to Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii, but roused themselves to score consolation efforts through Matt Parcell and Apisai Koroisau.
The result rounded off a miserable 24 hours for the Sea Eagles, who issued a statement earlier on Friday expressing disappointment at being linked to a probe into alleged match-fixing in the NRL.
"[The club] is bitterly disappointed that its hard earned 70-year reputation for fair play has been unfairly tarnished by imputations raised by some media outlets involving two Sea Eagles matches last season, albeit there is presently no formal investigation," read part of Manly's statement.
Manly chairman Scott Penn and chief executive Joe Kelly added: "The Sea Eagles fully support the strong stance by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg that any player found guilty of match-fixing be banned for life. We will continue to support our players 100 per cent and give them the presumption of innocence - particularly against unfair mainstream and social media innuendo."