OUTLAWS OVERPOWERD BY BUFFALOES
Nottingham Outlaws 0 (0) v Bramley Buffaloes 28 (10)
Bramley Buffaloes produce another top draw performance on Saturday when they travelled to The Bay and beat Nottingham Outlaws 28-0, the score-line does not reflect the Buffaloes dominant performance in this game. This victory maintained the Buffaloes 3 point lead over Warrington Wizards at the top of the RLCN and helped to open up a small gap between themselves and Hemel and Kippax in third and fourth place respectively.
If Buffaloes coach Mark Butterill was pleased with the previous weeks ‘nilling’ of Dewsbury Celtic, then to do it again away from home a week later, must have delighted him. The Buffaloes always look capable of scoring points from anywhere on the field and from a variety of players, however to nil the opposition again sends out a real warning to the rest of the league, your going to have to be good to get over our try line!
Nottingham have had a disappointing season so far, in comparison to last years terrific feats, player unavailability and injuries have stretched them to the limit. Simon Chilcott was the latest player missing for them this week, however there were still many familiar names in the Outlaws line-up. The Buffaloes fielded a strong line-up. The game kicked off in driving wind and rain, and as expected both teams spilt the greasy ball early on. Matt Abbott was hurt in the tackle and had to be helped off after 5 minutes, meanwhile the Buffaloes settled into their game and centre Dean Townend opened up the Outlaws right hand side defence with a powerful weaving run, he off-loaded to Richard Hulme who was hauled down just short of the try line. Paul Drake was the next to threaten when he had a surging run. The first try came on ten minutes after the Outlaws had been penalised for stripping the ball in the tackle, John Richardson took the ball at pace, drew the cover before slipping a pass to Andy McGann who scored easily in the corner, Drake’s conversion came back off the post. Buffaloes lost the ball from the restart and allowed Nottingham to test their defence. Outlaws switched the play left and right but could find no way through. The Buffaloes cleared their lines through powerful runs from Townend, Alistair James and Hulme. The backs were doing their fair share of work and taking the ball up, Jimmy Waddington on several occasions was unlucky not to escape the clutches of the Outlaws defence as he time and again looked for a gap in the defensive line. John Richardson had a try ruled out on 16 minutes for a knock-on. The Outlaws through the tireless Strachan, Millward and Waldram responded with repeated surges to the Buffaloes line, all to no avail. John Elliker and Richard Hulme were proving a handful in attack, whilst James Brown at loose forward was constantly making good metres with the ball and off-loading to supporting players, further tries seemed imminent for the Buffaloes, however the Outlaws hung on. A casual kick to touch by Nottingham was fielded by McGann who returned the ball at pace with interest. Slick handling from Brown put Hulme over for a try on 22 minutes; Drake converted to compound the missed kick to touch by Nottingham. Somehow there was no further scoring by the Buffaloes in the first half, Dean Townend created at least three opportunities and Alistair James was unlucky not to score. Danny Mitchell ran strongly when he was introduced from the bench, continually shrugging off tacklers as he made excellent metres, running hard and with no little pace.
The Buffaloes resumed the second half just as they had finished the first, on the front foot going at the Outlaws down the middle. James Brown created havoc with a superb run down the middle, his flicked pass was taken at pace by Junior Brandford who inexplicably was unable to get the ball down over the try line, knocking on as he crossed the touch-in-goal line! Little was seen of the Outlaws as an attacking force as they were continually driven back by some hard, cruel tackling, relieving kicks were only finding Waddington, McGann or James and being retuned with interest at every opportunity. John Richardson had a second try ruled out, this time for a forward pass on 47 minutes. This proved only a temporary respite as moments later John Elliker took three tacklers with him over the line and he was not going to be denied. On 53 minutes on the back of a couple of penalties the Outlaws almost posted points, however Weir was bundled into touch by an effective sliding defence. Seven minutes later Graham Harrison went over from close range for the Buffaloes fourth try, Drake converted for 22-0. The game entered a scrappy stage as the Buffaloes threw the ball around and were also on the receiving end of a few penalties. However Jimmy Waddington gave the score-line a better reflection when he burst through several would-be-tacklers on the Buffaloes 30m line and then outpaced the covering defence to score under the posts despite a valiant chase by Ali Waring. John Elliker was sin-binned on 77 minutes for punching and Waring nearly got over the try line moments later but was bundled into touch by more uncompromising defence.
This was a quality display from the Buffaloes who could easily have scored 50 or 60 points on another day. That said to keep the opposition pointless for a second successive week is a big effort and shows excellent defensive qualities and levels of concentration. Once again as a team, the Buffaloes were excellent, James Brown was voted man-of-the-match and nobody would argue with that, he was immense in attack and defence. Again though, all the players contributed to a top-draw performance. Nottingham rarely threatened and unfortunately for them, they lacked the craft and guile required to open up the Buffaloes. They did remain tireless in their efforts; however a top 6 finish looks beyond them this season on this showing. This season may be viewed as one of ‘taking stock’ and coming back strong in 2011 for the Outlaws.
Game star: James Brown was dominant for the Buffaloes in both attack and defence from start to finish; the only thing missing was a score for himself.
Game breaker: Bramley never looked like losing this game at any stage, however at 10-0 there remained a glimmer of hope for the Outlaws. When John Elliker scored to make it 14-0, that glimmer disappeared.
Nottingham Outlaws: 1. Dom Walsh, 2. Ali Waring, 3. Gopal Oliver, 4. Chris McNamara, 5. Melbourn Weir, 6. Oliver Crick, 7. Jimmy Lewis, 8. Adam Millward, 9. Andrew Cassetari, 10. Bryn Waldram, 11. Christian Humphries, 12. Matt Abbott, 13. George Strachan, Subs: (all used) 14. James Sadler, 15. Alex Haseldine, 16. Steve Page, 17. Stewart Readhead.
Bramley Buffaloes: 1. Jimmy Waddington, 2. Andy McGann, 3. John Richardson, 4. Dean Townend, 5. Alistair James, 6. Paul Drake, 7. Graham Harrison, 8. Richard Leese, 9. Richard Hulme, 10. Junior Brandford, 11. John Elliker, 12. Simon Speight, 13. James Brown, Subs: (all used) 14. Craig Green, 15. Danny Mitchell, 16. Jon Nicholls, 17. Chris Gardner.
Tries: McGann (10), Hulme (22), Elliker (50), Harrison (61), Waddington (72)
Goals: Drake 4/5
Final score: 0-28
Referee: Curtis Braithwaite
Penalty Count: 9(2)-4(2)
Sin-Bin: Hulme (Buffaloes), 77 mins – Punching
Man of the Match:
Nottingham Outlaws: George Strachan
Bramley Buffaloes: James Brown
Next game: Sunday 25 July 2010
Opponents: Kippax Knights
Kick-off: 2.30 pm