Nottingham Outlaws entertained Wakefield outfit Westgate Common on Saturday looking to avenge a club record 100-0 defeat that they suffered at the hands of league pacesetters back in April. This time the Outlaws gave a better showing of themselves, matching the visitors for long periods but the superior finishing of the Wakefield outfit was always going to give them the upper hand as the Outlaws crashed to a 58-10 defeat.
As has been the case all season the Outlaws went into the game with the usual raft of changes, with Adrian Chaima making a return on the wing after a few years out of the game whilst James Amachree came in on the other wing. There were changes in the forwards too as Sam Andrews and Harry Walton returned to the front row with Pat Crummay boosting the pack by taking up a bench spot
The Outlaws kicked off on the hottest game day of the year and within a minute the visitors showed their attacking prowess with a try from the very first set as they punished some slack Outlaws defence with ruthless efficiency. Indeed, the opening try was a prelude of what was to come as the rampant visitors cut loose in the opening quarter to rack up a 26-0 lead as the game was effectively put to bed with only 25 minutes played.
Despite the towering odds the Outlaws didn’t give up and Alex Whittle nearly scored with a show and go, being hauled down a metre short but two minutes later he tried the same move again and this time he got over the whitewash to get the Outlaws on the scoreboard at 4-26 in arrears.
Unfortunately the Whittle try did not signal the start of an Outlaws mini revival as on the restart they made a hash of collecting the ball and two plays later they were 32-4 down as the visitors wrapped up the scoring in the first half with Westgate holding a formidable 32-4 lead.
Any hopes of a second half fight back soon evaporated as Westgate scored two quick trys on the restart to lead 46-4 with thirty minutes still to play.
Despite the poor start the Outlaws did manage to compete for longer periods in the second stanza with a series of raids but they didn’t have the cutting edge that Westgate had exhibited so clinically in the first half. Indeed it looked like they were going to go unrewarded but finally they scored when Sam Andrews crashed over the line despite the attention of two defenders
At 46-10 the Outlaws had at last opened their second half account but two further trys by the rampant visitors made sure they finished in the ascendancy as they closed out the game to post a healthy 56-10 winning margin.
Despite the defeat the Outlaws had put up a much better showing against the league pacesetters than they did back in April with several players in with a shout for the man of the match award but in the end there were few complaints when Haz Ashby took the bubbly.
Next week the Outlaws face a trip to Brighouse looking to avenge a narrow defeat they suffered at the the hands of their West Yorkshire rivals back in April.