Welshman Gareth Delve's first taste of Melbourne Rebels' Super 15 captaincy ended in disappointment as they lost 40-18 to the Highlanders.
The number eight has taken over from skipper Stirling Mortlock during previous games.
But the clash against the Highlanders at AAMI Park was the first occasion on which he started as captain.
Wallaby Mortlock's hip injury paved the way for the 11-times capped Delve, 28, to take over.
But the hosts conceded six tries and Delve was powerless to halt the rout
Delve joined the Rebels from Gloucester ahead of their launch for this season in the southern hemisphere's premier inter-provinvial tournament.
But while doing so he acknowledged his hopes of being involved with Wales while based in Australia would be damaged.
Delves has made eight Rebels appearances, scoring one try while earning wide praise from pundits for his efforts.