Nottingham Outlaws crashed to another disappointing home defeat on Saturday when they lost out to play off rivals Cutsyke Raiders at Lenton Lane on Saturday. The defeat was all the more disappointing since they held a 12-0 advantage after twenty minutes only to fritter it away on the back of some poor handling and tackling as they slipped to a 26-16 defeat.
As is the norm the Outlaws had to reshuffle the side that lost out to Sharlston two weeks ago with no fewer than nine changes to the squad that lost out in their most recent defeat including two new debutants, Adam Riley on the wing and George Waghorn forming a new half back pairing with Tom Wigglesworth and Coryn Ward moving the number nine shirt for the first time.
The Outlaws started brightly, tackling well and running hard at their opponents and finding good field position which they soon exploited as James Hood crashed through the visitor’s defence for an excellent opening try and two minutes later captain Coryn Ward squirreled his way over from short range for another Outlaws try.
Tom Wigglesworth added the extras for both scores as the Outlaws swept into a 12-0 lead mid-way through the first half.
Things quickly turned sour when the Outlaws allowed themselves to get sucked into a niggly battle and as they gave away a string of penalties, backed up by some poor handling, they saw their excellent opening work ruined as Cutsyke roared back into the game and dominate proceedings whilst narrowing the lead to 12-10 at the interval.
The second stanza carried on in much the same way as the first had finished with the referee continuing to punish the Outlaws relentlessly and as the penalty count and error rate increased they shipped more points and soon found themselves 12-26 in arrears.
With the game effectively lost the Outlaws did battle back in the dying stages and were rewarded when Aiden Butler clasped onto a fine cross field kick by Wigglesworth to stretch over and score despite the close attention of the Cutsyke full back and close out the game with Outlaws top four aspirations in tatters after a 16-26 defeat.
After the game the squad waited to hear who had picked up the man of the match award. There were a few players in contention, but the award deservedly went to long-striding second rower Ollie Hopkins after an excellent forward display.