Illingworth 34 : Nottingham Outlaws 10

Nottingham Outlaws travelled to Illingworth on Sunday for their first hit out of the season in the Women’s National Cup.

A new-look team travelled up the M1 including several players on debut as well as a number of regulars including Violet Coppin, last season’s top try scorer Robyn Gulley, and new Captain Rhiz Lord.

After a slow start the Outlaws soon found themselves 16-0 down as some rusty, lackluster defence saw them leak three early trys without response and with only fifteen minutes on the clock the signs looked ominous!

Captain Rhiz Lord did her best to rally the troops and some strong words from the Captain seemed to hit home as the Outlaws defence stiffened and with more ball in hand they began to ask a few questions of the home defence. Indeed on the thirty minute mark the Outlaws opened their account with a superb solo effort from Robyn Gulley who scorched down the pitch, racing fully sixty meters to open her 2024 scoring account.

The Outlaws were now going through something of a purple patch and Robyn Gulley added her second of the game to reduce the arrears to 16-10 and with the clock ticking down it looked like the Outlaws were about to draw level only for a good-looking try to be chalked off by the referee as the first half finished with the Outlaws well and truly in the hunt at 16-10 in arrears.

The second half saw the Outlaws tire somewhat and as with the first half they leaked three quick trys to trail 28-10 but they rallied strongly and nearly scored on three occasions only to be held up inches short.

A final try by the home side closed out the scoring at 34-10 and although they were out of the cup at the first attempt there were plenty of positives for the Outlaws coaching team to take heart from. Including several promising debuts and a fine day at the office for player of the match Robyn Gulley.