League: Yorkshire League

Outlaws vs Brighouse Rangers

Nottingham Outlaws lost their second match in a row when they succumbed to a 26-24 defeat by Brighouse Rangers at Lenton Lane on Saturday. In a scrappy game the Outlaws came back from a 10 point deficit to lead by 18-16 only to gift the visitors the game through a combination of sloppy defence and cheap penalties.

The Outlaws made a poor start to the game despite playing with the breeze, dropping the ball early in the tackle count with alarming regularity so it was no surprise when the visitors opened up a 10-0 lead with less than twenty minutes played.

Finally the Outlaws managed to hold onto the ball and on the back of a period of better ball control the Outlaws managed to get some points on the board, creeping into a 12-10 lead with trys by Coryn Ward and Adam Cunliffe.

However the slender lead soon evaporated when some woeful defending down the middle let Brighouse in for a converted try to gift the visitors a 12-16 lead at the break.

The second half started better for the Outlaws who crept into a 18-16 lead thanks to a second well taken try by Adam Cunliffe but the lead lasted less than a few minutes as the Outlaws lost the ball from the restart and another penalty on the last tackle let the visitors in for a try followed by another as Brighouse opened up a 18-24 lead.

The Outlaws gave themselves a shot of taking something from the game when Luke Wadding went in at the corner but with a difficult angle and a strong wind combined to take the kick wide and the Outlaws were left with a two point deficit as the whistle blew.

There were a few players that were in the mix for man of the match but it was Adam Cunliffe who took the bubbly with two trys and some excellent attacking play.

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Westgate Common vs Outlaws

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Outlaws vs Queensbury

Nottingham Outlaws posted their highest ever score and winning margin in the Yorkshire Premier League at at Lenton Lane on Saturday when they cruised pat an outgunned Queensbury side, recording an emphatic 54-16 victory and their second win on the bounce.

The Outlaws went into the game with a few tweaks to the team that had beaten East Hull the weekend before. Gaz Whitfield teamed up with the returning Clarke Squires in the halves whilst Malachi Goldson came back into the three quarters on the right wing. There were a couple of changes on the bench too with Edward Deeks and Luke Moran making their first appearances of the season.

In the opening exchanges there was little sign of what was to come with the two sides appearing evenly matched as both defences remained on top but already is was developing into an interesting clash of styles with Queensbury outfit prefering to take route one down the centre of the pitch whilst a smaller Outlaws unit were constantly looking to move the ball around in an attempt to find the gap.

After ten minutes of relatively even play the match suddenly burst into life. There seemed danger when Malachi Goldson picked up the ball deep in his own half but the young speedster outfoxed his opposite number then put on the afterburners to scorch fully eighty metres down the pitch, beating two tacklers along the way to plant the ball down under the sticks and the Outlaws led 6-0.

It was a lead they were destined to keep for the remainder of the match.

The Outlaws were now starting to play with growing confidence, Strachan nearly went over from short range but after a period of dominance they couldn’t get over the whitewash and it looked like their dominance was going to go unrewarded. However their efforts finally paid dividends when a loose ball was picked up by Cunliffe who made a short dart before feeding Harry Masini who scored in the corner . Gaz Whitfield curled the conversion between the posts and the Outlaws held a well deserved 12-0 lead.

Stung by this reversal the visitors hit back, helped by some Outlaws indiscipline as they conceded a string of penalties and six again calls that kept the home team well and truly on the back foot and despite some excellent defending they finally conceded as the visitors cut the Outlaws lead to 12-4.with twenty minutes played.

The Outlaws remained under the cosh as the game entered the last ten minutes of the first stanza but a sudden flurry of attacking play saw the Outlaws stretch their lead with two excellent trys. The first came after a Whittle show and go opened up the visitors defence before passing to James Amachree who opened his account for the afternoon and this was followed two minutes later by another long range effort by Malachi Goldsmith who once again set off from fully sixty metres out and was simply too strong and too fast for the Queensbury defence to hold!

When the whistle went for the end of the first stanza the Outlaws went into the changing rooms with a healthy 24-4 lead and the game looked well and truly there for the taking!

The coaching staff used the interval to freshen up the pack with Joe Moran taking over the number nine duties and Tyler Beardsley, Edward Deeks and Luke Wadding all coming into the fray to take on a big Queensbury pack that was already starting to struggle with the pace of the game.

Despite now playing into the wind the Outlaws carried on from where they finished the first half, playing high tempo rugby league and they soon got the scoreboard ticking over when a loose ball was picked up on the halfway line by Cunliffe who steered the ball out to Malachi Goldsmith who scooted over the line to notch a fine hatrick and then with less than ten minutes of the second stanza played James Amachree got on the end of another Cunliffe break to double his tally to two trys as the Outlaws opened up a commanding 36-4 lead.

By now the Outlaws were playing with a level of confidence not seen in recent years and they underlined their dominance with two of the best trys seen at Lenton Lane in recent years.

The first came from deep when Goldson broke down the right wing and whilst getting clattered into touch he released the ball to Harry Massini and the ball swept through three more pairs of hands before James Amachree touched down in the left hand corner.to complete an excellent hatrick.

The next try was arguably as good if not better!

There seemed little on when Massini started a run from deep, but rather than die with the ball the Outlaws kept it alive basketball style and this time there were no fewer than six passes in a sweeping move before Aex Whittle slipped the ball out of the tackle to Sam Andrews who went over for his first of the season as the Outlaws lead stretched out to 48-4.

For the remaining twenty minutes of the game the Outlaws found themselves once again under the cosh as another string of penalties and six again calls starved them of possession and to their credit Queensbury upped their game to reduce the deficit to 48-16 with two well taken trys.

As the clock ticked down there was just enough time for one more Outlaws try and once again it was another Malachi Goldson solo effort that had the crowd on its feet as the young speedster showed pace and strength to notch try number four and close out the scoring with the Outlaws holding a record 54-16 winning margin.

As the players celebrated there was much debate about the man of the match prize. and there were plenty of players with a good shout. Adam Cunliffe had a fine game with ball in hand, setting up a lot of the counterattacking scores and young sharpshooter Gaz Whitfield had demonstrated impeccable kicking prowess with nine conversions from nine attempts. However the bubbly went to Malachi Goldson who notched four superb trys that had the home crowd buzzing!

Next week the Outlaws recent resurgence will be put well and truly to the test as they travel to Wakefield to face lead leaders Westgate.

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Outlaws vs East Hull

It was a case of third time lucky for Nottingham Outlaws as they notched their first victory of the season in round three of their 2022 Yorkshire Premier League campaign. Indeed they did it in style, running in six tries to post an excellent 34-10 victory over an outgunned East Hull side at Lenton Lane on Saturday.

The Outlaws went into the game with their third half back pairing in as many matches with Gaz Whitfield taking over the scrum half role after Clarke Squires failed a late fitness test and he was joined in the halves by Joe Moran who stepped up from the wing to take over at number six. There were changes on the bench too as Luke Wadding, Alessio Cauteruccio and Josh Adebayo all came back into the side.

The match kicked off in lovely, sunny conditions and the Outlaws immediately went looking for the early score. Indeed they spent the first five minutes camped in the East Hull red zone but they failed to open their account and their early dominance came to nothing.

Not for the first time this season the Outlaws had failed to capitalise on some excellent opportunities and yet again they fell to the sucker punch. Indeed it was their first foray into the Outlaws half that saw East Hull capitalise on some poor defending as they opened their account with a well taken try to leave the Outlaws trailing 4-0 with ten minutes on the clock.

Despite the setback there was a strong feeling amongst the crowd that this was a game that was there for the taking and two minutes later the Outlaws were back on level terms when Alex Whittle carved open the East Hull defence with a classic show and go from twenty metres out to post a fine try. Gaz Whitfield added the extras from bang in front to put the Outlaws ahead at 6-4 with twelve minutes on the clock.

It was a lead they were destined to hold for the remainder of the game.

Buoyed by their score the Outlaws stepped on the gas and began to dominate possession and field position. However once again they failed to capitalise as they made a series of errors in a frustrating twenty minute period that they were by far the better side but could not grab the points that they deserved.

As the clock ticked down the match suddenly swung in the Outlaws favour with two trys in the last five minutes of the first half. The first came on the back of a well timed Cunliffe pass that saw captain Coryn Ward power over the line for a well taken try and then Alex Whittle once again outfoxed the East Hull defence with a dummy pass. The long striding number thirteen was hauled down just short but on the next play Adam Cunliffe shot through a hole in the East Hull defence for a much deserved Outlaws score.

Gaz Whitfield converted both scores as the Outlaws powered into a three score lead at 18-4 as the halftime hooter sounded.

All talk at half time was of the need to control possession and avoid unnecessary errors but they did just the opposite on the restart, losing the ball when trying to unload in heavy traffic and two tackles later the Outlaws lead was cut to 18-10 and the game once again appeared to be in the balance.

As in the first half, the East Hull score seemed to act as a wake up call to the Outlaws attack and they stormed forward with Alex Whittle once again carving open the East Hull defence only to have the ball pulled out of his grasp with the line at his mercy but the Outlaws were not to be denied and two minutes later George Strachan powered over with a trademark short range effort.

Having got back on the front foot the Outlaws continued to dominate the game, and as the East Hull pack began to tire the match was played more and more in and around the visitors forty metre zone with forwards Jake Hall and Alessio Cauteruccio making plenty of yards down the middle. With the Outlaws dominating the collision the gaps began to appear and Gaz Whitfield opened up the East Hull defence with an outrageous dummy to post a superb solo effort as the Outlaws extended their lead to 28-10.

As the clock ticked down there was still time for one more Outlaws score as Alex Whittle put in a superbly weighted grubber kick into the in-goal area and Albert Paskevic won the race to the ball for a well deserved try to wrap up the game with the Outlaws posting a well deserved at 34-10 victory and their first league points of the season.

As the team celebrated a well earned victory there was a brief pause as the players waited for the man of the match announcement. There were plenty of players in with shout with Gaz Whitfield, Coryn Ward and Alex Whittle all having their best games of the season so far. However it was Albert Paskevic who took the bubbly with an excellent performance on his first stint at prop forward as well as a well taken try to open up his account for the season.

Next week the Outlaws take a well deserved break before they resume their campaign in two weeks time against Queensbury at Lenton Lane

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Outlaws vs New Earswick

Nottingham Outlaws continued their 2022 Yorkshire Premier League campaign on Saturday with a home fixture against New Earswick All Blacks from York. The Outlaws were keen to get off the mark following last week’s defeat at Toll Bar but despite a much improved performance they just fell short of victory losing out 24-16 in a highly entertaining match.

The Outlaws went into their first home match of the campaign with a few changes to the team that lost at Toll Bar last week. Clarke Squires came in at scrum half for his first game for over a season to partner Ben Littlewood in the halves whilst Will White came in on debut in the centres with Joe Moran and Ronan Treble moving out to the wings.

Straight from the kick off the Outlaws went on the attack, winning three back to back sets in and around the All Blacks twenty metre zone. However they lacked the cutting edge to get over the whitewash and the nearest they came to a try in the early onslaught was when Coryn Ward was agonisingly held up in the tackle despite getting over the line.

It appeared that the early Outlaws dominance was going to go unrewarded but they finally forced their way over when good hands saw the ball reach Ronan Treble on the left wing. There was still plenty of traffic in front of him but the youngster managed to crash over in the corner despite the attention of two All Black defenders as the Outlaws crept into an early 4-0 lead with ten minutes on the clock.

At this stage the All Blacks had hardly laid a hand on the ball but they caught the Outlaws defence napping with their first real attack and a missed tackle in the middle of the park saw the All Blacks creep ahead with a try under the sticks as the visitors led 6-4 at the midway mark in the first stanza.

It looked like the Outlaws would go into the break only two points in arrears but some poor defending on the right hand side saw the Outlaws conceded another try on the stroke of halftime to trail 12-4 at the interval.

The coaching staff used the half time break to rejig the forwards with Tyler Beardsley coming on for the injured Freddie Fearnley and Liam Heaney taking over the hooking duties.

Whatever was in the half time drinks it clearly didn’t help the Outlaws as they made a dreadful start to the second half, losing the ball in their first set and then, in a disastrous five minute spell they failed to number up in the tackle out wide to leak two trys. With both scores converted the visitors had managed to put themselves in a winning position with three trys in a devastating ten minute spell either side of the half time break!

Despite the reversals the Outlaws, to their credit, did not throw in the towel and they spent most of the remaining thirty minutes in the visitors half. Indeed they peppered the All Blacks line with attack after attack but yet again they lacked the cutting edge to finish off the moves and get the points that their dominance deserved.

With ten minutes remaining the Outlaws pressure finally paid off when Clarke Squires seized a loose ball and fed Adam Cunliffe to score under the posts and then the ball went wide to Coryn Ward who went over in the right hand corner. Ben Litlewood added both conversions to cut the deficit to 16-24 but it was too late in the game for the Outlaws to stand any chance of a victory and when the final whistle went the Outlaws still remained short of that elusive first victory in their 2022 campaign.

Despite the defeat there were a number of good performances across the squad. Player-Coach Adam Cunliffe had a fine day at the office, fielding several towering bombs as well as bagging a fine try and rookie forward Harry Masini had his best game yet in an Outlaws shirt as he continues to go from strength to strength. However the bubbly deservedly went to loose forward Alex Whittle who orchestrated most of the Outlaws attacks as well as putting in a full eighty minutes of tackling duties.

Next Saturday the Outlaws entertain East Hull at Lenton Lane for a match in which they will be desperately keen to get off the mark!

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