DEAN Saunders' honeymoon period came to a crushing end as Rovers were outclassed by Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at the Keepmoat.
Goals from Danny Pugh, Ross McCormack and Tom Lees saw the Whites stroll to victory over their poor hosts.
But for the opening quarter of an hour, Rovers looked toothless and lacking in ideas as a well organised Leeds side shut them out.
There was no plan B while even the basic approach to attacking was rather scattergun and easily absorbed by a Leeds outfit who have hardly been the most comfortable in defence over the past couple of years.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect was Rovers' lack of true battle, the very thing that has sparked the mini-revival under Dean Saunders.
Simon Grayson's side looked close to their very best, particularly in a dominant second half performance.
But mainly, Leeds seemed to want the win more.
Saunders handed debuts to on loan pair Chris Kirkland and Herita Ilunga while fellow new boy Pascal Chimbonda.
Unfortunately for Kirkland, his main job on the evening would be to pick the ball out of the net, never being the main culprit in conceding.
Rather, the former England keeper was let down by his defence, particularly in Pugh and Lees' efforts.
The level of Leeds' eventual dominance could not have been telegraphed in the opening 15 minutes as both sides exchanged chances, Rovers actually enjoying the greater of the pressure.
Both sides had shouts for penalties in this period; Leeds when McCormack was tackled from behind by Friend as he attempted to side foot a Darren O'Dea cross in at the near post, and Rovers as Billy Sharp was bundled over by O'Dea as he met a John Oster chipped pass.
Long throws from James O'Connor had Leeds penned into their own box and errors looked likely while Jon Parkin seemed to relish the long balls played into him.
But the consistent promising play from Rovers came to an end on 19 minutes when Leeds took the lead.
George Friend conceded a needless free kick by fouling Ross McCormack right by the corner flag.
Robert Snodgrass delivered the long ball to the back post where a collision between O'Connor and Naylor allowed Pugh to confidently volley in from five yards.
Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half but Parkin had a glorious opportunity to level things up with four minutes to go.
James Coppinger sent over a superb cross from the right and Parkin rose unmarked but could not get enough behind his header to send the ball on target.
Leeds had the last say in the half.
O'Dea was afforded far too much time on the ball, allowing him to play in Snodgrass who chipped just too high for Keogh at the back post.
It too Leeds seven second half minutes to double their advantage through a moment of brilliance from Championship top scorer McCormack.
Keogh chipped an inviting ball into McCormack ten yards out and he executed a superb overhead kick that gave Kirkland no chance.
The goal epitomised the confidence of McCormack who was excellent on the night.
Saunders responded by throwing on Kyle Bennett and the returning Ryan Mason for Coppinger and Oster.
But the two had barely a chance to touch the ball when Leeds grabbed their third to put the game beyond any doubt.
More suspect marking allowed Lees to rise unimpeded and head down at high Jonathan Howson corner past Kirkland.
Leeds were in full flight and it appeared there was a chance of a real drubbing ahead for a Rovers side who looked disappointingly overawed at times.
But Leeds' own desire to maul their beleaguered hosts appeared to wane and the match petered out over a very poor last 20 minutes.
However Keogh almost got reward for his industrious display when he broke clear and smashed an effort which rattled back off the underside of the bar.
Rovers' problems are far from over as is the natural lift from a new man at the helm.
Rovers: Chris Kirkland, James Connor, Richard Naylor, George Friend, Herita Ilunga, John Oster (Ryan Mason, 61), Simon Gillett, Brian Stock, James Coppinger (Kyle Bennett, 61), Billy Sharp, Jon Parkin (James Hayter, 69). Unused subs: Neil Sullivan, Pascal Chimbonda.
Leeds: Andy Lonergan (Paul Rachubka, 77), Paul Connolly, Tom Lees, Darren O'Dea, Aidan White, Robert Snodgrass, Jonathan Howson, Adam Clayton (Mika Vayrynen, 85), Danny Pugh, Andy Keogh, Ross McCormack (Luciano Becchio, 71). Unused subs: Patrick Kisnorbo, Mikael Forssell.