Nottingham Outlaws returned to action on Saturday after a three week break from fixtures. They were faced a with a tough assignment against Siddal in Halifax. Despite never throwing in the towel a much depleted Outlaws side were no match for a slick Siddal unit that ran out convincing 62-6 winners against a weakened Outlaws side.
The travelling faithful knew the Outlaws were heading for a tough day at the office when a glance at the team sheet showed only four players backing up from the side that had convincingly defeated Bramley at Lenton Lane three weeks prior as injuries and unavailability hit the squad hard.
Indeed the hard pressed coaching team were forced to offer debuts to four new starters whilst evergreen stalwarts Joe Shepherd and Dave Ivemey were drafted in at last minute to bring some much needed experience to the side.
The Outlaws supporters worst fears soon began to turn into reality when the first two attacks by the home side saw them run in two tries without reply to put Siddal 12-0 up with three minutes on the clock!
Despite the horror start the Outlaws rallied briefly and Strachan and Squires went close and Joe Shepherd looked like he might crash over the whitewash, only to be held up in goal. However the chances failed to register a score as the brief Outlaws flourish did not yield any points.
The home side soon regained the upper hand as the Outlaws defence began to drop off the tackle and in a twenty minute spell they ran in five unanswered try’s to put the game to bed. Indeed at 42-0 there was an ominous thought of the home hitting the century mark as they scored at the rate of more than a point a minute!
The half time whistle couldn’t come soon enough for the hard pressed Outlaws and at 42-0 it was clearly going to be a case of damage limitation from this point on!
The omens didn’t look good when the second half started with two Siddal tries in the opening two minutes as the home side hit the half century mark. There was little respite for the Outlaws and only some great interceptions from the sharp-witted Ivemey kept the home side from scoring at a whirlwind rate However at 62-0 with sixty minutes played the Outlaws were in danger of being completely overrun!
However to their credit the Outlaws did not throw in the towel and some great tackling by Strachan and Muggleton shored up the defence and with James Hague using his good footwork he managed to make some great yards down the middle alongside fellow prop Sam Andrews who also was having a strong game and on the back of this the Outlaws were at last able to put some pressure on the home side. But yet again they just could not find the killer pass.
As the clock ticked down there was one last chance to post some points on the board and luckily they got some! The good work was started by Hague and Andrews down the middle and from close range Ben Scott-Nelson dummied and then powered over to get the try as the Outlaws faithful at last had something to celebrate. Adam Hemingway added the extras from wide out as the referee drew the game to a close with the home side running out convincing 62-6 winners.
Despite the defeat the Outlaws players remained in good spirits. However they will hope that the bulk of the regular squad will be back in an Outlaws shirt when they entertain Cutsyke Sharks at Lenton Lane next Saturday.