Nottingham Outlaws entertained Methley Warriors in a rearranged National League 1 women’s fixture at Lenton Lane on Sunday and despite a valiant effort they couldn’t get the win they wanted, ending up on the wrong side of a 16-36 scoreline.
The Outlaws made a shaky start conceding a try in the opening minutes of the game but battled back strongly, dominating field position and possession with Coppin and Gulley in particular taking control of the game but after fifteen minutes of pressure they failed to cross the whitewash, with the ball going to ground on a regular basis.
Having weathered the best that the Outlaws could throw at them the more experienced Methley side began to launch a number of attacks in the Outlaws red zone and soon showed their try scoring edge with two more scores that pushed the visitors lead out to 0-14.
It was important that the Outlaws hit back if they were to have any chance of getting something out of the game and they did just that when Dijana Clarke pounced on a raking cross field kick to touch down and reduce the deficit to 4-14. The home supporters expected more to come but no sooner had the Outlaws got back into the game than they let the door slam shut as Methley stretched away again, leaking two more try’s to leave themselves with a lot to do as they went into the break 4-26 in arrears.
The Outlaws coaching staff did their best to breathe new life into their charges with all four replacements coming onto the field when the second stanza started and it seemed to do the trick as the Outlaws dominated from the restart and slowly but surely they began to reduce the deficit.
They were led by Vanessa Humphrey who had topped the tackle count in the first half but was now showing her prowess with ball in hand and some strong carries by Outlaws loose forward visibly lifted the team.
Within minutes of the restart Robyn Gulley crossed the whitewash for a try converted by Georgina Coninx. Then came the try of the match as fleet footed flyer Dijana Clarke went on a mazy run across field before finding some space to burst down the line, side-stepping the full back to touch down under the sticks and bring her tally to two in the match. When Robyn Gulley added the extras, the deficit was reduced to just two scores at 16-26.
With fifteen left to play the Outlaws went looking for more points but good defending kept the rampant Outlaws at bay and as the home team eventually tired Methley picked up the pace and were able to notch two late try’s to run out convincing winners at 16-36.
After the game the Outlaws team and coaching staff had plenty of positives to take and some great performances from several individuals. Indeed Vanessa Humphrey, Rhiz Lord and Violet Coppin all came close but it was two-try hero Dijana Clarke that took the bubbly for a much deserved player of the match award.