A summer sport they say!! Constant downpours made the warm up challenging but thankfully a change of kit prior to kick off meant a head start on the opposition.
One of the biggest games in Derby City’s fixture calendar saw them travelling to Highfield’s to play the Outlaws Academy. Derby still forced to make changes on a weekly basis but attempted to build on the great team performance from the previous week’s loss against Northampton.
The first ten minutes of the contest was played in the Outlaws half with excellent defending ensuring that nominal yardage was made and this generally off the boot of the home sides Pivot. One of the attacking sets saw quick hands down the backs for Winger Arron Robinson to score in the corner, unconverted but the flow appeared to be Derby’s way. Unfortunately whilst City had the main territorial advantage in the whole of the first half slight lapses offered Nottingham the opportunity to cross the Derby line on three occasions, thankfully none converted however the confidence was definitely in Outlaws favour as no matter how much pressure Derby applied unforced errors crept in at the early stages of the attacking sets. Half time Nottingham Outlaws 12 Derby City 4.
A stern half time talk, challenges set and the need to remain calm and focused was immediately rewarded by three quick fire tries from the visitors, firstly Tom Pottinger scored his first try of the day with a crash ball take close to the line, converted by Reza Kashefi. Pottinger scored his second straight away hitting contact with opposition at half way and remaining elusive from the defenders to score towards the left corner. Then his fellow Centre Jack Pearce pumped his legs to push himself over the line with two players hanging off him, converted by Kashefi. The pendulum had appeared to have swung!
As it generally happens the home side rallied round for a moment as Derby maybe became a slight over confident with the lead now their way however Outlaws brought the score back to a difference of four points with an unconverted try. Derby awoke from their slumber, three phases from their forward runners saw immense yardage made, a step out and then in saw Kashefi ghost over to score close to the posts. Tim Doyle then took a close contact pass and crashed through between the posts for his first try of the season, converted by Kashefi. Pottinger sealed his hat-trick with a replica of his second try taking the ball down the left wing and brushing of tackles to score between the posts with eight minutes remaining, converted by Kashefi. The home side didn’t give up and scored a consolation converted try to bring the final whistle.
Final score Nottingham Outlaws 22 Derby City 36. Man of the match to Andrew Castledine.
An excellent second half performance again showed the capability of the current Derby City squad, improvements simply needed to first half game time and we will continue to compete with the bigger more established teams in this league.
Derby City under 14s enjoyed a fantastic end to end game against their Outlaws counterparts, only just running out in second place 44 points to 42. A great spectacle for all despite the weather and bodes well for next seasons fixtures.