Match Report

 

Moseley 15 Coventry 13 - December 16th 2006

 

MOSELEY: Thomas; Bressington, Binns, Buckley, Aston; Hayes, Knight; Coles, Caves, Bayliss, Hadley (Arnold 43), Skelding, Evans (Lightowler 64), Bignell (Daniell 76), Rodwell. Replacements: Moran, Hall, Hunter, O’Leary

COVENTRY: Russell; Dixon (Johnson K 40), Geraghty (Binham 43), Sanders, Takarangi; Dorrian, James; Treston, Friswell (Protherough 40), Brits (Rimmer 56), Tonkin, Nimmo, Johnson T (Venter 64), O’Connor, Rheeders. Replacements: Toft, Montague

Referee: Mr R Kitt (RFU)

Moseley

Tries: Bressington, penalty    Pens: Thomas    Cons: Thomas   Cons:


Coventry

Tries: Sanders Pens: Russell 2  Cons: Russell
 

The action – as it happened

6 mins TRY Sanders

6 mins CONV Russell

10 mins PEN Russell

13 mins TRY Bressington

30 mins PEN Russell

Half time 5-13

53 mins TRY PENALTY

53 mins CONV Thomas

58 mins PEN Thomas

72 mins YC Binns

79 mins YC Venter

Resolute Moseley make wasteful Coventry pay
By Brian Dick at Billesley Common
(Birmingham Post)
The upside, probably the only one, of playing the six best teams in the league in as many weeks is that you get plenty of defensive practice.

A month and a half manning the barricades certainly stood Moseley in good stead here on Saturday as their dreaded foes assailed the town walls from first whistle to last.

To say there were times when this one-sided affair was reminiscent of a scene from Zulu is not to overstate Coventry’s superiority, so quite how the visitors managed to turn an apparently overwhelming domination of possession and territory into no more than a loss bonus should be a mystery.

Unfortunately for them the answer is quite clear. For every last ditch tackle, disrupted scrum and spoiled lineout Moseley produced, Coventry committed twice as many errors through poor execution or ill-discipline.

The Butts Park side spent most of the first half camped within a few metres of the hosts’ line but only managed to cross it once, through Donovan Sanders’ seventh minute try.

For the rest of the time they were struggling to turn a penalty count of 8-0 in their favour into something to interest the scorers.

Indeed all a ten-minute sequence of attacking setpieces could produce was missed jumpers, handling mistakes and passes to bootlaces. Coventry were leading 10-5 at the time and should have tripled that advantage.

Instead all they could muster was a second Ben Russell penalty on the half hour and an eight-point gap.

The full-back’s goal was to be his team’s last reward of the game, though by no means their final scoring opportunity.

By contrast the number of openings Ian Smith’s men manufac t ured coul d be counted on one hand of which they accepted two.

The first, was a rare passage of play worthy of mention. With the home side trailing 10-0 Nick Buckley made a line break, Ollie Thomas ghosted on to his shoulder in support and then released Nathan Bressington into open space. It was the sort of chance Bressington does not spurn.

It was a move that proved Moseley probably held the greater threat in the backs.

Marshalled well by Tommy Hayes — it is difficult to see them going down with him at fly-half — and powered by the robust Nick Buckley when they did have the ball they were able to cut through quite easily.

But for Moseley this was not about what they did with the ball, more so their work without it.

With Hayes and Buckley co-ordinating the threequarters and Richie Bignell tireless around the fringes Coventry rarely made it past the first tackler.

Instead the Blue and Whites would continue to batter away until they shot themselves in the foot.

Moseley must, however, be applauded for their mental fortitude. Coming into this encounter on the back of a seven game losing streak and then conceding a ten-point deficit in even time they could easily have folded.

Ian Smith didn’t know whether to applaud the attitude of his players or lament the fact that in every sphere other than the scoreboard, they had been largely out-performed.

“They certainly stopped parts of our game, we struggled for any momentum,” said the head coach.

“They had so many chances it was ridiculous.

Whatever we try and say in our close-knit group perhaps it was a fairly pressurised environment. Maybe that’s why we looked a bit jumpy.

“Our character has got us through that match because in certain areas we were very ordinary. But we are now in an environment for the next few weeks where the opposition can be a bit more awkward to play against.” Having met largely fulltime sides in recent matches, many of them twice, Moseley have pinpointed their next run of fixtures, against Nottingham, London Welsh and Waterloo as key to their season.

Two more victories and they will not only have dragged several clubs back into the relegation battle, they could have moved out of the drop zone entirely.

Coventry should already have enough points on the board to forget about any such worries but they will find it difficult to erase this loss from their memory banks.

“We should have had another two or three tries in the first half,” noted forwards’ coach Dave Addleton.

“We had so much ball but basic mistakes cost us. We needed to be clinical but there was a lack of control and a bit of panic in the 22.” On the one occasion they kept their cool Myles Dorrian — whose positional kicking was the chief factor in Coventry’s supremacy — burst through a gap in front of the posts and offloaded for Sanders to squeeze over.

Russell took his side into double figures with a con version and penalty before Bressington scampered clear. That was followed by the Coventry captain’s sec ond three-pointer.

At the start of the second half Moseley were awarded a dubious penalty try as Cov pulled down a catch and drive routine and then Tho mas — who missed two game-winners the last time the teams met — kissed the ball off the post to put the hosts in the lead.

A combination of their own courage and Coventry’s cackhandedness enabled them to convert that into their third win of the campaign.
 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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