Trocadero Marbella got their tough run of fixtures off to a bad start on Sunday when they lost 31-27 to a direct rival in the form of Liceo Francés.
After three home wins on the bounce, the Costa side headed to Madrid for the start of a run which may well define their season. It was the first of three games against direct opposition for promotion and despite the loss, Marbella come away feeling positive having picked up a defensive bonus point despite being at a numerical disadvantage for much of the game.
Shortly after a mass coming-together on the half-hour mark in which a yellow card was shown on both sides, Nacho Molina received a straight red card - his first in 20 years of rugby . In the second half, Stefano Tucconi suffered the same fate, receiving his second yellow.
Despite this, the visitors performed well and came out of the game with their heads held high.
Coming up are games against CRC Pozuelo, the current leaders, followed by a derby against Ciencias Sevilla - a run described as “very difficult” by head coach Salva Almeida.
“The 'proper' league has begun,” he added. “The squad knows that the margin for error is small but the idea is to go out there and try and win them all.”