Late changes affect Buccaneers’ rhythm ahead of Outlaws season opener

Herbie Laidlaw.
Herbie Laidlaw.

Midlands Premier

Nottingham Outlaws 62

Boston Buccaneers 12

Boston Buccaneers’ 2016 campaign started with a heavy defeat to Nottingham Outlaws this weekend.

A shorter-than-planned pre-season, player unavailability and last-minute drop-outs made coach Mark Bean’s match preparation less than ideal.

The Buccaneers travelled with 15 players and handed out debuts to Liam Croker, Herbie Laidlaw, Nathan Speight and Kees Foxon.

With the lack of forward replacements and players playing out of position it was only a matter of time before the experienced and well drilled Outlaws exploited the Buccaneers defensive line.

This was to set the pattern for most of the game with a tiring Buccaneers squad having to defend for 75 per cent of the game and, despite heroic defending by Jim Dearing, Will Scupham and Jordan Cleaver, an Outlaws victory was never in doubt.

Full credit must go to the Buccaneers who, against the odds, stuck to their task - their hard work was rewarded when just before half time they scored two unanswered tries.

The first try saw John Stanfield pick out Laidlaw, who ran around, and over the Outlaws defenders to score, with Dan Mackie adding the conversion.

Shortly afterwards Stanfield put in a grubber kick that bounced off the post into the waiting arms of Mackie who scored and made the conversion.

Despite the heavy defeat head coach Beany took many positives away from the game, he was especially pleased with the performance of the debutants and the team’s never-say-die attitude.

The player of the match was awarded to prop Scupham for his work around the park.

The Buccaneers now have a week off to regroup ahead of their away game against Sherwood Wolfhunt on May 14.

BUCCANEERS: Dearing, Scupham, Johnson,Piggins, G. Baldwin, M. Baldwin, Laidlaw, J. Stanfield, Croker, Speight, J.W. Stanfield, Cleaver, Mackie, T. Andrews, Foxon.