By Mark Dunkley (Dunks)
Game 1 vs Brighton
Upon arrival, poor prep and a rushed warm up we started the 1st half as if we hadn't stopped 18 months ago after exploiting the new 50/20 law followed by some powerful running from the forwards and crisp backs hands gave Marc Harrison an early chance to go round the opposing winger and dot down for the first points of the day. Conversion missed by Ward.
Having found a recipe that worked we worked hard another set of powerful runs and more crisp hands gave Harrison a second opportunity to round his opposite number again and dot down. Conversation slotted by Ward. Again the same recipe worked for try 3 for Harrison with Conversation by Ward.
In the second half coach make a whole sale of changes bringing many of the development players in the squad the opportunity to earn their tie for their first appearance for the club and also to see what they were able to produce on the pitch. The 2nd half was very different to the 1st with Brighton able to keep hold of the ball for large chunks of the half putting pressure
on the Outlaws line over and over however the line stayed firm for 10 minutes. Then the pressure almost paid dividend but a great try saving tackle by Mark Allison playing out of position at full back made a great covering tackle to stop another attack. Despite some good attacking from the outlaws from deep the dam did break eventually in the final minutes.
Final score 19-7 Outlaws win
Motm: Marc Harrison
Game 2 Vs Mitcham
After a short break and a better warm up we knew this game was going to be tough and preped well, tough early encounters lead to an amount of play with pressure from the outlaws but the IGR affiliated team stayed strong in defence and cleared their lines repeatedly after about 10 minutes the same attacking threat paid dividend again a clean line out taken up in a snap play left quick hands and a delayed pass to madden to allowed a break down the right hand side after the opposing 13 stepped in leaving a 2 on 1 with Harrison on the outside to burn down the wing for his 4th of the day. The last 5 minutes saw a lot of pressure on the Outlaws line which was held off and with the team under the cosh the Outlaws were planning for a rest when Stokes got ball at the back of the line out and went for 20 meter gallop opening up the opportunity for a few more forward carries to then allow the hands to almost allow Harrison to be away again down the right hand side but a poor pass and knock on meant some scramble D was required to ensure the score remained 5-0 at half time.
Having lost Judge for the day in the 1st half a bit of dominant forward play off the kick off and strong carries from the roaring AJ, quick hands through the backline gave Madden a 1 on 1 miss match to hand off and break the line of defence from 70 metres out, with Harrison in support on the right this time Madden placed under his arm and bust through the full back
and dotted down under the sticks for a superb 5 pointer and an easy added 2 for Ward. For the rest of the match the Outlaws continued to dominate so much so that when the opposing 10 ran sideways behind his line Madden decided the post was needing to be tackled as well and this ended his day early as well.
Again strong Defence and strong ball carries from the forwards meant we were able to see the game out without conceding.
Full time 12-0 Outlaws Win Motm Mark "hamburgler" Allinson
Game 3 vs Birmingham
This was Birminghams final game of the day and unbeaten, the Outlaws didn't get the best prep with ward wanting to check out the ambulance stock the Outlaws had now lost 3 key backs in what was going to be a tough battle and no prep leading into the game with all players concerned over Ward being in the Ambulance for a considerable amount of time.
The team held their own and a couple of missed tackles allowed Birmingham to rocket into a 3 try lead in the first half.
Unfortunately our new sponsors Sussex A&E were in action again this time as new recruit Del had taken a head or neck injury meaning the full precautions needed to be taken over a (rightly) considerable amount of time.
This left the sensible option to concede to finishing the game at half time.
Final score 19-0 Motm Charles Woodfield
Game 4 Vs Wessex Wyverns
Given the fact there were minimal backs left, and the fact one of our biggest strengths of the day our scrum had been nullified by the fact Wyvern had no front row it was an opportunity to really mix things up and that was shown with AJ and Charles being put in the centres for some absolute mylie cyrus wrecking ball fun.
The match start in a similar way however when off the kick off Sam Mobley took the kick off and a sniper took him out with no defenders near, injury number 5 meant more disruption and rejigging early doors.
This game was played with lots of smiles on faces and great attitude other than el capitan finding himself becoming the ref's best friend even telling us he was hoping to be able to bring out the yellow card on him!
After dominating the opening exchanges but disapline letting the Outlaws down in the "Red Zone" there were some real encouraging plays which eventually saw Charles and Aj working together in the centres with a big bust from AJ and offloading to woodfield sliding over in the corner, with the conversation scraping the post the wrong side from out wide the Outlaws took a narrow lead into half time.
The Outlaws started the 2nd half as they had all day with powerful busts up the pitch and strong carries as pick and go's and pops off 9 the pressure mounted, the pressure eventually
paid off as Dunks held up and offloaded 10 metres from the line to allow Woodfield to scamper over for his second try of the game. After another missed conversion Play continued as it had been going with strong carries all day and ended in a penalty 40 metres out. The decision to tap and go was one that paid off when Kev Stokes received the tap and out came the galloping gazelle again as he bust through the line and rounded the full back for a stunning 1st phase try.
Full Time 15-0 MOTM Kev Stokes
Outlaw of the day : AJ
This was chosen due to the strong carries, unbelievable power shown with the dominant pack in the scrums with the collective pack turning over approx 75% of all scrums during the day. The big hits and roar's into contact show the determination AJ has to help this Outlaws team succeed in our goals
Positives: there were lots and too many to name in one bit on here but When we play with patience, work together & communicate it all works really well.
When players went together in support, whether running as a line or hitting contact, we retained, recycled and looked very dangerous all over
Scrums were un believable. We stole ball, we also easily set a foundation on our ball for the backs to work with.
Ball carrying was fantastic from start to finish, we looked dangerous on the ball, just need to remember to support the ball carrier as that's when we looked at our most dangerous
The Handling has come on leaps and bounds, there were not many passes that didn't go to hand
We ran a few Snaps and a few Crackles and scored of them so the do work when we get secured ball
Areas to work on:
Lineouts to many we secured unplanned and were not able to set our structure from this
Rucks, at times we were lazy in support and not securing the ball cleanly meaning we were susceptible to turnovers and broken play
Adjustment from attack into defence too often we conceded way too much ground as we didn't wake up to the fact we had lost the ball and needed to reorganise
There were a few other bits but these are the 3 I have highlighted for this week.
Now the important bit the injuries: Judge - bicep - all OK just needed to rest the afternoon - Probably a couple of weeks out
Madden - checked over and no break all OK. - probably a couples of weeks out
Mobley - all OK by the time he had purchased some fags and had had a pint - hopefully fit for training Tuesday
Del - all checked over in hospital and passed all tests and released last night return to playing will be a good few weeks with any concussion protocols followed as well as any injury feedback
Wardy - taken into hospital following suspected dehydration. This was not a pleasant site for any of the Outlaws to witness and thoughts were with him for the afternoon, we heard yesterday that he was being kept overnight and have heard from him this morning that he is probably being kept overnight again. Obviously our best wishes are with you Wardy and hopefully a speedy recovery.
With the above injuries being such a dominant part of the day ignoring anything on the pitch was the amazing team ethos that exists already and one we continue to build on.
Huge shout outs go to Mark A and Charles for staying around with Judgy for Del to get him home
Huge shout out goes to Kyle who went with Del to hospital mid afternoon kept him in good spirits and kept us all updated through the day
The biggest goes to Harrison who stayed down with Wardy until approx 3am before driving Wardys car back up.
A special mention also goes to Hamish who proves you never actually leave the outlaw family even if your not playing for us as he continues to help with sorting Wardy down there.
Not forgetting our new Sponsors Sussex County Hospital for all the hard work their team did on our lads yesterday and continue to do with Wardy
All I am going to finish with is what a special club this is. It would be easy to fall back when things don't go your way. But it takes a special club to crack on sort out the problem and work together for the goodness of the people involved in the club.
Hopefully this shows anyone who might have been away for some time or whatever that your not forgotten and there is always a place for you at this club
Thanks for a great day and our starting point to the season