Cornish Pirates 54 Moseley 16 -
September 17th 2006
Cornish Pirates - Tries:
A Di Bernardo, A Winnan, R McEntee, S McKeen, L Vinnicombe
Pens: A Di Bernardo 2 Cons: A Di Bernardo 4
Moseley - Tries: J Rodwell
Pens: O Thomas 3 Cons: O Thomas 1
MOSELEY: Thomas; Bressington, Binns, Cox, Colvin; Macdonald, Knight (Hunter, 75); Buxton (Coles, 61), Caves (Hall, 61), Bayliss (Sigley, 75), Arnold (Hadley, 73), Stott, Evans (Mason, 66), Warren, Rod well. Replacement: Holder.
CORNISH PIRATES: Winnan; McAtee (Hylton, 70), Barratt, Bell, Vinnecombe; Di Benardo, Cattle; Paver, Ma’asi, Heard (Anderson, 75), Senekal, Beardshaw, McKeen, Betty (Motosaga, 63), Evans. Replacements: Moore, Winn, Hobson, Hambly.
Referee: B Robertson (RFU).
Thanks to the Birmingham Post for this report
Cornish Pirates 52 Moseley 16
If Moseley’s opening home game of the season
taught them a thing or two about the power on show in National One then their
first away match was all about the pace of life in rugby’s second tier.
Quite simply the National Two champions were outgunned by a full-time team whose threequarter line tore them to shreds. Up front they competed well — though their line-out rocked more than is usual — but they could not find a solution to the speed at which the home runners came on to the ball.
Tormentor-in-chief was Argentine fly half Alberto Di Benardo who when he wasn’t supporting breaks made by team-mates was prompting others to do so.
Not only did he score two of his side’s six tries, he kicked nine of his ten shots at goal and ended with a personal haul of 32 points — twice as many as the visitors managed.
The gulf between the teams was most cruelly exposed in the second half when almost simultaneously Moseley lost two players to the sin bin and had their line breached four times.
They had actually made a decent fist of things in the first half and restricted the fulltimers to an 11-9 lead with only a few seconds remaining.
But the customary try before the interval changed the complexion of proceedings and when they emerged at the start of the second half even a loss bonus seemed a long way off.
The visitors made a solid start and actually opened the scoring after Pirates came in at the side as James Rodwell looked for a way through deep in enemy territory. Ollie Thomas stepped up and stroked his kick nonchalantly through from 25 metres.
That stung the Cornishmen into action, however, and they began to launch sweeping attacks from close to their own line. It was a poor cross-field kick that gave them their first opportunity as Lewis Vinnecombe — viewed as something of an outsider having arrived from Redruth — ran the ball back.
Once the wing had been grounded possession was quickly recycled and former Worcester man Rhodri McAtee stepped inside Nathan Bressington. He chipped ahead and Di Benardo beat Mark Evans to touch down for a 5-3 lead.
That encouraged the hosts to run from anywhere. McAtee and Di Benardo sliced dangerously through broken fields and were only just repelled — the latter drawing the defence offside and making up for his earlier miss with a 16thminute penalty.
It was looking a bit one-way at that point but to their credit the Billesley side stuck to their task and retained their interest in the result.
Hooker Viliami Ma’asi was penalised for not rolling away as Moseley took the ball to halfway.
The surprised reaction that emanated from the stands when Thomas indicated his intention to go for the posts became only more audible when his attempt flew between them with a good ten metres to spare. With a quarter gone the gap stood at a mere two points.
It became five on the halfhour when Mark Evans tried to slow play down and Di Benardo punished him with a second penalty.
Just before the break Thomas once more breathed life into the contest as Paul Cox — making his first appearance of the season — made inroads into the Pirates’ rearguard.
The inside centre received some over-zealous attention with a home boot and Thomas’ effort was good from 40 metres.
But when they could have done with closing the game down Adryan Winnan sliced outside Andy Binns and went over. Di Benardo’s kick made it 18-9 at the break.
For Moseley the second half was eminently forgettable. McAtee converted Duncan Bell’s scything break and beautifully-weighted pass nine minutes in and then, with Mark Evans in the bin, Stan McKeen was on the bottom of a driven line-out.
Five minutes later — on the hour — Paul Arnold was yellow-carded and in his absence Di Benardo’s penalty made it 35-9. Two minutes later Vinnecombe beat Cox to the stand off’s kick to the wing for another converted try.
Moseley’s one bright spot came with seven minutes to go when they set up camp on the Pirates’ 22 and Thomas fed Rodwell.
The No 8 stepped off his left foot, raced away from Vinnecombe and covered the 15 metres between himself and the line without interruption. Thomas converted.
But then normal service was resumed and ten more points from their outstanding fly half brought up the half century in double quick time.