The Boston Buccaneers had a tough start to their 2017 Rugby League campaign, losing 60-12 to an in-form Birmingham Bulldogs.
With many veteran players unavailable for the long away trip, head coach Jim Dearing gave league debuts to eight players.
The well-drilled Birmingham outfit soon exploited the under-strength Buccaneers’ gaps in defence.
The Boston cause was further hampered when they lost influential centres Matt Bray and Michael Baldwin to injury.
It wasn’t all one way traffic but Boston trailed 32-0 at the break.
The second half saw the Buccaneers start brightly but they still lacked the clinical edge when close to the try line.
Defensively everyone put in the real shift, making crunching tackles all over the park.
Midfield was organised by John Stanfield and new signing Brad Nixon, who both set about trying to get the ball moving.
Youngsters Jack Bell and Diogo Felicio made some punishing runs.
A great ball from Brad Nixon found prop Matt Coley, who rolled over defenders to power over for the Buccaneers first points.
The try seemed to galvanise and inspire the Buccaneers, who crossed the white wash again five minutes later when Sam Gray found Brad Nixon, who ran a great line and went over the line untouched.
in the final five minutes Ryan Cuthbertson scored the pick of the Buccaneers tries, sprinting 50 yards to dive over in the corner.
The Buccaneers return to action on Saturday when they entertain Sherwood Wolfhunt (KO 2.30pm).
BUCCS: Balderston, G. Baldwin, M. Baldwin, Bray, Cowern, Nixon, Stanfield, Cuthbertson, Gray, Coley, Fox, Kippax, Croker, Felicio, Bell, Harmston, Croker.