Interim boss Francis Cummins failed to inspire Widnes Vikings as they went down 32-12 to Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday.
Cummins stepped up to take charge following the departure of Denis Betts, who was sacked after eight years at the club following a woeful start to the Super League season.
Rhys Hanbury and James Chapelhow returned for Widnes as Cummins made five changes to the line-up, and they appeared inspired introductions in the early stages.
Chapelow touched down after Greg Bird spilled Aaron Heremaia's grubber-kick and Hanbury dived over to make it 10-0 inside 16 minutes.
But the Dragons surged back and were 12-10 ahead at the interval courtesy of scores from Tony Gigot and Brayden Wiliame – with a second successful conversion from Josh Drinkwater proving the difference.
Patrick Ah Van levelled things up but Catalans broke clear through Remi Casty and Super League debutant Kenny Edwards, a controversial signing from Parramatta Eels, before Fouad Yaha punished Joe Mellor's fumble to complete a comfortable win.
Following Huddersfield Giants' victory over Leeds Rhinos on Friday, the Vikings are now seven points adrift of the top eight.