Moseley 13 Rotherham Earth Titans 35 -
September 2nd 2006
Moseley 13 (13)
Tries: D O'Leary
Olly Thomas 2
Rotherham Titans 35 (7)
B Jacobsz, S Smith, T Allen, B Burke, + penalty try
M Whitehead 4, G Steenson
Referee: Mr G Copsey (RFU).
MOSELEY: Thomas; Binns, O’Leary, Peacock, Colvin; Macdonald, Knight; Coles (Buxton, 76), Caves, (Bick, 70) Bayliss, Arnold, Hadley (Skelding, 70), Stott (Warren, 70), Mason, Rodwell. Replacements: (Bick, 70) Sigley, Hunter, Holder.
ROTHERHAM: Burke; Allen, Tuohy, Hennessey (Buchannan, 69), Smith; Whitehead (Stevenson, 69), Bedford (Blackwood, 76); Carey, Conroy (Han na, 63), Hopcroft (Croall, 76), Bornman, Lund (McGowan, 52), Fourie, Cochrane, Jacobsz (McComish, 60).
Thanks to the Sunday Mercury for this report
MOSELEY came crashing down to Earth as they opened their National One campaign with a heavy beating in atrocious conditions at Billesley Common. Driving rain and a strong wind blowing down the pitch made a mockery of proceedings in a match that was ultimately decided by the Yorkshiremen’s forward power.
Playing with the gale at their backs in the first half, Moseley opened up a 13-0 lead as Rotherham were unable to get out of their own territory on more than a handful of occasions. But when the weather favoured the visitors after the interval they made it tell and reeled off three tries in ten minutes to turn the score decisively in their favour.
Though Moseley battled bravely and produced a spectacular breakaway try from captain Daren O’Leary, they will be left to rue the fact that the gods had been unkind and they suffered their first league defeat since moving to their new home last year.
Their first three points came after they had survived a period of pressure on their own line early in the game. Having established good field position in the tenth minute, they contested well for the ball on the ground and forced Erik Lund to hold on. Presented with his first goal kick of the campaign, Ollie Thomas coolly slotted from 25 metres for a 3-0 lead.
The advantage was doubled two minutes later when No 8 James Rodwell made a break from the restart and set in motion a move that edged down the left touchline. Visiting prop Jarleth Carey prevented fair release and Thomas exacted punishment for a second time.
The hosts might have claimed the game’s first try on the quarter hour when Rodwell picked up from the base of an attacking scrum and made inroads into the Titans’ defence. Neil Bayliss carried on and made good yards but with just one defender to negotiate his underarm pass, flopped into a Rotherham hand and the danger was cleared.
The try came just after the midway point in the period and once more Rodwell was the creator as he scooted free from deep in his own territory. When the cover defence arrived so did the support and O’Leary was able to sidestep two tackles and jink over. Thomas’ conversion made it 13-0 and an upset was on the cards. The full back missed a long range penalty just before the half-hour though and Rotherham came back into the game.
Neil Mason paid the price for his side’s persistent infringing when he was yellow-carded with two minutes left in the half and further retribution came when No 8 Barry Jacobsz sneaked over close to the posts. Michael Whitehead’s conversion was the last action of the stanza. The suspicion was that 13 points might not have been enough, Jacobsz’ score meant 13-7 was never going to be a sufficiently large lead. And so it proved.
The home team only made one trip into the Roth 22 and even then they were on the end of a counterattack score. Touchdowns from Showan Smith, Tom Allen and Brendan Burke within 12 minutes of the restart – all improved by Whitehead – made it 28-13 and handed the victors a try bonus. The latter’s was the pick of the bunch because it came when Mose had an attacking lineout ten metres out. But instead of being driven over, the ball was stripped by Hendre Fourie and fed through three pairs of hands before Burke raced over from 20 metres without anyone near him.
Moseley spent the rest of the match with their backs to the line but they defended courageously and only conceded one more score – an 83rd minute penalty try – before their agony was ended.