Nottingham Outlaws search for an elusive victory will have to wait for another week as they succumbed to yet another defeat at Lenton Lane on Saturday. In truth they were always chasing the game after making a poor start to the match and rarely looked like troubling a well well organised Queensbury side who ran out convincing 36-6 victors.
The Outlaws went into the game with yet more changes to the line up and another three players on debut as Abraham Su’a, Scott Howkins and Mike Hyatt all pulled on an Outlaws 1st Team shirt for the first time in a sidethat showed no fewer than nine changes to the one that had taken to the field the previous week against West Hull!
Any hopes that this Outlaws line up might improve on the previous weeks showing were quickly dashed as they made an awful start to the game. Gifting the opposition three soft penalties in succession as well as dropping the ball twice on the first tackle meant they were on the back foot from the get-go and a fast moving Queensbury outfit soon capitalised on the Outlaws profligacy with two tries in the opening ten minutes to put the visitors 12-0 up with the Outlaws yet to complete a set!
After such an underwhelming start the Outlaws needed to respond if they were to have any hope of getting something from the game. Thankfully they did have a player who could do this, player coach George Strachan who latched onto the ball at pace on the visitors twenty metre line and used a combination of good footwork and strength to power over the line for a superb solo effort that reduced the deficit to 12-6 and gave the home side a glimmer of hope with twenty three minutes played.
Unfortunately this was to prove the high point in the game for the Outlaws and they only had themselves to blame for what followed.
Time and again they dropped the ball early in the tackle count, starving themselves of possession and gifting the match to a Queensbury side that had plenty of attacking options across the pitch and they made the most of their chances. Indeed they helped themselves to two more try’s down the right hand side of the Outlaws defence to stretch the visitors lead to 22-6 at half time.
If the Outlaws were to have any chance of making a game of it in the second half they clearly needed to make a good start and score the next try. Unfortunately they did the exact opposite!
Collecting the ball from the kick off they lost possession in the first tackle and from the restart Queensbury extended their lead to 28-6 with another well worked try and effectively it was game over at that point! Indeed things went from bad to worse when five minutes later the Outlaws again coughed up the ball on the first tackle and from the scrum the Outlaws failed to number up on the blind side as the visitors extended their lead to 36-6.
To their credit the Outlaws refused to throw in the towel and in fact they had the better of the remaining twenty five minutes of the game. Once again it was Strachan that led the way, with some strong carries and equally strong defence as he led from the front for a full eighty minutes, a gutsy display that was to see him pick up a well-earned man of the match award. Unfortunately, despite plenty of effort and some good field position the Outlaws could not find the killer pass to get over the whitewash and the game eventually fizzled out with the Outlaws well beaten at 36-6.