Outlaws 22 : Sharlston Rovers 32

Nottingham Outlaws suffered a disappointing 32-22 home defeat to Sharlston at Lenton Lane on Saturday. Despite leading on three occasions in the match they were generally on the back foot for most of the second half thanks to some poor handling and missed tackles at crucial points in the game.

The Outlaws went into the game with six changes to the team that took to the field against Stanley the previous weekend. Blake Turner came into the centres with Aidan Butler filling the vacant fullback slot  whistle in the pack Tyler Beardsley came back into the front row and Abe Sua was moved up into the second row.

On the bench it was all change as John Hemmingway and Sam Dennison came in as emergency replacements with Jordan Bullit and Mylit Alaye both making debut appearances.

The match started badly for the Outlaws who conceded in the opening minutes with tacklers failing on three occasions to stop a long range effort by the Sharlston fullback that resulted in a 4-0 lead for the visitors with as many minutes on the clock.

To their credit the Outlaws fought back well and began to probe for an opening and they got their just rewards on the tenth minute. There seemed little danger when Haz Ashby dummied through a couple of defenders to find some open space on the edge of the Outlaws forty metre line but the halfback accelerated away and rounded the fullback for a superb solo effort. Clarke Squires added the extras from bang in front as the Outlaws crept into a 6-4 lead.

The Ashby try seemed to unsettle the visitors and the Outlaws extended their lead on the twenty five minute mark when Louis O’Connor swooped on a loose ball thirty metres from his own try line and scorched down the pitch for a superb long range solo effort. Squires had no problem converting as the Outlaws extended their lead to 12-4.

It looked like the Outlaws would go into the break with a healthy two score lead but they leaked another Sharlston try and once again it was sloppy defending out wide that was to blame as the visitors closed the gap to 12-10 at the interval.

Having led for most of the first half the Outlaws found themselves once again chasing the game when they leaked another try, this time a poorly defended short-range effort saw the visitors creep into the lead at 12-16.

The second half continued to go badly for the Outlaws thanks to some sloppy handling and with an inability to control the ball they found themselves having to defend more and more much to the coaching teams displeasure.

Despite being on the back foot the Outlaws did grab the lead again when another long range effort by O’Connor. This time the fleet-footed winger had to work much harder for his try, beating his opposite number on the outside before cutting back in and rounding the fullback for his second try of the game as the Outlaws nudged ahead at 18-16.