Nottingham Outlaws search for that elusive win continues as they suffered a 34-10 defeat at the hands of Queensbury on Saturday. Despite dominating the game for long periods their inability to carve out openings and continuing defensive lapses meant they were always chasing a game that they could have won.
The Outlaws went into the game with a new halfback pairing as Joe Moran and Brandon Whittaker teamed up for the first time with George Strachan making a welcome return in the pack pulling on the all important number nine shirt.
Once again the Outlaws got off to a bad start, tackling well but twice failing to collect the ball on the last tackle, gifting the visitors immediate field position and a platform to ;launch attacks and on the second of these Queensbury opened the scoring to lead 4-0
The Outlaws hit straight back and launched a series of raids which resulted in George Strachan crashing over from short range to level the scores at 4-4 with only five minutes on the clock.
Despite some good early pressure the Outlaws could not add to their score and their defensive frailties once again surfaced. A series of soft penalties piggybacked the Queensbury side into the Outlaws red zone on numerous occasions and in a devastating five minute spell the visitors scored two tries to stretch their lead to 16-4 tleaving the Outlaws twelve points adrift as the half time whistle went.
If the Outlaws were to stand any chance of getting back into the game it was vital that they got the first score after the break and they did just that as prop forward James Hood, having his best game of the season so far, crashed over to bring the Outlaws back within one score at 16-10.
Buoyed by the early score the Outlaws piled on the pressure and for the next fifteen minutes the play was concentrated in and around the Queensbury red zone. Further Outlaws scores looked imminent as twice in a row George Strachan was held up over the line and Coryn Ward looked to have scored only to be held up by last ditch defending by a more than rattled Queensbury side.
Having thrown everything they had at Queensbury the Outlaws attack could not muster a score and once again they were made to pay for their lack of cutting edge. With twenty minutes of the second half played Queensbury launched their first attack of the half and immediately scored with a sucker punch that stretched the visitors lead to 22-10 and with it the game.
The Queensbury riposte seemed to draw the life out of an Outlaws side that at one stage looked like it might be on the verge of an elusive win and as their heads dropped the visitors cut loose with two further trys to run away with the game at 34-10.
Despite the defeat several players were in with a shout for the man of the match award. Forwards Coryn Ward and James Hood both came close with strong performances in the engine room but it was returning hooker George Strachan that grabbed the bubbly with a fine performance on his return to the side.
Next week the Outlaws are at home again as they entertain play-off hopefuls East Hull at Lenton Lane.