Nottingham Outlaws Mens First Team entertained Siddal in sweltering conditions at Lenton Lane on Saturday afternoon. They battled well in the first half, leading 6-0 for most of the opening forty minutes before collapsing in the second stanza, shipping thirty two unanswered points to end up losing the match 32-6.
As has been the case all season the Outlaws went into the game with a plethora of changes, as Luke Wadding and Aiden Butler returned to the three quarters and Clark Squires made a welcome return to half back duties after a long lay off through injury, partnering Haz Ashby in the half back roles.
The Outlaws started the game in confident manner, peppering the Siddal line with a series of attacks and they managed to open the scoring at the ten minute mark when Coryn Ward latched onto a short pass from Adam Cunliffe and swept over the try line for an excellent opening score. Clark Squires added the extras from bang in front and the Outlaws held a deserved 6-0 lead against their top four opponents.
Unfortunately this proved to be their only score of the match!
As the first half unfolded and the temperature on the pitch hit the mid 30’s the Outlaws play began to look more and more ragged, giving away penalty after penalty and dropping the ball early in the tackle count. As a result of this profligacy they began to spend more and more of the match defending their try line, which clearly began to take its toll on the energy levels of the team.
It looked like the Outlaws might manage to get to half time with the try line intact but in the last minute of the half they lost possession in their own red zone and at the next play Siddal swept in to score and reduce the Outlaws lead to 6-4 as the first stanza came to a close.
As the players headed for respite in the shade the coaching staff rotated the bench in a hope of breathing new life into a side that had been under the cosh for long periods.
The second half started disastrously as Siddal came out much the stronger side, playing with more confidence and moving the ball at pace they began to tear gaping holes in the Outlaws defence. As the temperature rose the Outlaws defence wilted in the face of some fast handling and they leaked three quickfire trys to find themselves 20-6 in arrears.
Indeed it could have been worse but some superb tackling by captain Coryn Ward and hooker George Strachan managed to stem the flow to some extent but as the clock ticked down the confident visitors crossed for two more trys to wrap up the scoring at 32-6 in Siddal’s favour.
There were two or three Outlaws players in the frame for the man of the match award, Coryn Ward and Haz Ashby both tackled themselves to a standstill but the bubbly deservedly went to hooker George Strachan for a superb effort, playing an eighty minute stint in the boilerhouse of the front row without a break.
Next Saturday the Outlaws travel North for their penultimate Yorkshire Premier League fixture against Fryston.