REVIEW: Birmingham Lions Vs Nottingham Outlaws


Lions Outlaws Thomas Roberts XpLosION

After last week’s preview of the big XpLosION American Football game between Nottingham Outlaws and Birmingham Lions, The Tab spoke to game organiser Thomas Roberts to see what happened as the Outlaws fell to a 71-6 defeat…

Hi Thomas, thanks for talking to us again, how are you and the team feeling after the game? It obviously wasn’t the result you guys were hoping for…

A little bit battered and bruised to be honest. It wasn’t great. I don’t want to be making excuses but one of our top defensive players was injured which was really unfortunate. I am not going to pin it on that, though, because a lot of things went wrong.

Don’t forget, Birmingham are a very, very good team –  they’re one of the three elite teams in the country along with Loughborough and Hertfordshire, to whom the rest are basically playing catch-up to. Although some of the press has been negative towards us, we are a good outfit and we always have a winning record at the end of the season, it is just unfortunate that our wins generally aren’t quite as emphatic as what Birmingham managed against us.

So what happened on the pitch?

Well firstly, it was quite apparent that they kept their starters on the pitch for a really long time. Normally what happens is that you start rotating your players during the game but Birmingham kept their starters in until very late, which obviously made it very hard for us. This wasn’t helped by the fact that we only had two players on defence who were here last year – nine of the starting defence were rookies.

Tactically, we could have made it a bit more competitive had we run the ball more. We kept on passing and, as a result, there was more time in the game. This is because when you throw an incomplete pass the clock stops, whereas it doesn’t if you run. So if you run the ball it makes the match shorter. Had we done that they wouldn’t have had the time to rack up some many points and the defeat could have been a little less emphatic.

That was our game-plan, though. In all the footage we’ve seen of Birmingham we thought that was the way of playing that we believed would work best.

What positives can you take from the game?

Although we do know that the result is horrible there could have been a lot more negatives than there were and there are a lot of positives. For example, we moved the ball really well and we also scored on offence, something we couldn’t do against Birmingham last year.

How was it as a spectacle? Did you get the crowd you were hoping for and did all the work with Sky Sports go well?

Yeah, we got a massive crowd and I believe a highlights package is going to be shown on Sky this Sunday so we are pleased with how the evening went outside of the game itself.

However, we obviously wanted it to be more competitive than it was and we also really wanted to put a statement out to the League that Nottingham would be a difficult team to beat this year. This is unfortunately pretty hard to do against a team which is so good. They have just got some quality players – their starting quarter-back plays for Great Britain, for example, and they were so well drilled – they are an elite team.

Looking ahead, what’s coming up for the Outlaws?

We are going to move forward and try to pull ourselves together for the next game, which is against Loughborough, unfortunately, in two weeks time. They’re not quite as strong as Birmingham but, as I said, they’re still one of the top three teams in the country.

We’ve got some time to prepare for the game and do some proper scouting on them so fingers crossed we can be more competitive against them. After that we’ve got two games against lesser teams so hopefully we can go into the Christmas break with at least 2 wins! It’s certainly good to think that it can’t get any harder than Birmingham!

For all the info on when the Outlaws will be playing next and how you can watch them click here