Match Report


Worcester 0 Moseley 84 - March 2nd 2008

Moseley ladies produced another massive result on Sunday away to Worcester despite being reduced to playing twelve-a-side at Worcester’s request. The uncontested scrums and the absence of flank forwards did nothing to restrict Moseley’s ambition, however, as they strolled to victory by 84 – 0.

The opening break came from outside half Liz Plummer who broke out of defence with a 50 metre charge up to the Worcester 22m line after Moseley stole the opening Worcester lineout. After Worcester failed to find touch from a penalty against Moseley, scrum half Sarah Robinson counter-attacked and after a couple of sharp passes from Becky Smith (inside centre) and Emily Williams (wing), prop Katie Mahon took the opening try under the posts from a ruck on the Worcester 5 metre line. The conversion from Liz Plummer brought the score to 7-0 Moseley.

Worcester tried to pin Moseley back after the restart following a couple of Moseley knock ons and a penalty but the Moseley lineout was firing on all cylinders (Worcester won just one of their own lineouts if I remember correctly) and after Worcester encroached off-side on the Moseley 22 metre line Adrianne Fall (prop), Victoria Clifford (second row) and Amy Pugh (number 8) took the ball back up field into Worcester territory. Another penalty against Worcester and Katie Mahon popped the ball to Victoria who ran in for the first of her 5 tries after a quick passing interchange with Louisa Nolan (second row). The conversion was missed, 12-0 Moseley.

Try time came again after the restart as Sarah Robinson gathered from the kick off. Adrienne and Victoria linked to Louisa who broke 10 metres before shipping the ball to Amy Pugh who in turn released the excellent Emily Williams on the Worcester 22 metre line to run in for a try converted by Liz. 19 – 0 Moseley.

Moseley conceded a scrum following a knock on from the restart but Emily regained possession with a hammering tackle to take Worcester into touch. Another clean lineout was followed by some sharp passing to take Moseley over halfway, but Worcester managed to steal the ball at the ruck and attempted to run it back. Their efforts came to nothing as Moseley were too strong and Becky Smith stole the ball back, released Elizabeth Webb (outside centre) to run in for her only try of the match. Liz Plummer added the extras, 26 – 0 Moseley.

Despite some scrappy play following the kick off, with both sides knocking on and conceding penalties, Moseley took the ball through a series of phases up to the Worcester 22 metre line before again losing possession. Victoria won the ball back with a massive tackle on the Worcester No 8 who conceded a penalty for holding on the ground. Moseley ran the penalty quickly and the ball was slipped to No 8 Amy Pugh who ran up the left wing for an unconverted try. 31 – 0 Moseley.

Some more scrappy play followed the restart as Moseley knocked on in the centres while running a penalty. However, Moseley regained possession after driving a Worcester ruck into touch on the home team’s 10 metre line. The ball was spread wide to full back Wendy Hooker, who ran 30 metres to score the try. Liz Plummer was there again to convert. 38 – 0 Moseley.

Worcester made touch from a penalty conceded by Moseley following the restart but Moseley inevitably won the lineout before managing to knock on in the centres yet again. However, Worcester also infringed at the back of the resulting scrum and both Adrienne Fall and hooker Liz Dziergas made substantial ground to take play up to the Worcester 22 metre line where Emily Williams was on hand to run in under the posts. Liz Plummer converted again, 45 – 0 Moseley.

A forward pass from Moseley after the restart led to a Worcester scrum, but predictably Moseley stole the ball back at the breakdown and with some more excellent support play found themselves crossing the Worcester’s 22 metre line yet again. Louisa Nolan gathered from the base of a ruck on the Moseley 5 metre line and stormed over the Worcester try line for her first try of the season. Liz was on had for the conversion and Moseley led by 52 – 0 at the break.

Louisa was back in scoring action again in the second half restart. Emily Williams and Louisa linked well to break the Worcester 22 metre line but the move broke down through lack of support. Moseley lost possession after another forward pass but snaffled the ball back again, driving Worcester back to their 5 metre line. Prop Jane Hubble controlled the maul from the back as only Jane can and created a platform for Louisa to take the ball over the try line for her second score of the day. The conversion was missed but the score moved on to 57 – 0 Moseley.

After the restart Moseley conspired to make life difficult for themselves by yielding possession with a forward pass and a knock on. However, Worcester knocked on in turn, conceding a scrum on their 22 metre line. Amy Pugh picked and drove from No 8 and strong support from Kirstie Ashworth at outside half and Louisa Nolan allowed Victoria Clifford in for another try. The conversion was missed, the score stood at 62 – 0.

Victoria was back for more a few minutes later as Louisa broke from the back of a ruck and crossed the Worcester 22 metre line again. Victoria was there in support again to run in her third try of the day. Sarah Robinson added the conversion. 69 – 0 Moseley.

Lorna Tibbatts received the kick off and made 30 metres before slipping the ball to Victoria Clifford once more on the Worcester 10 metre line. The try line beckoned again and Victoria does not need to be asked twice as she scored a further try. With the conversion missed, 74 – 0 Moseley.

Liz Dziergas, Lorna Tibbatts and Liz Webb led the charge from the restart taking the ball back once again over the Worcester 22 metre line. Jane was back in the action again guiding the maul up to the Worcester 5 metre line. Although Worcester stole the ball they could do nothing but carry it over their own line and desperately touch it down to concede the 5 metre scrum. Moseley again made life difficult for themselves by conceding a penalty allowing Worcester to clear their lines but after s patch of scrappy play in which both sides fumbled the ball, knocked on and conceded penalties, Sarah Robinson gathered the ball as Worcester failed to make touch from a penalty and ran the ball back at Worcester. Hooker Laura Knott gratefully received the ball inside the Worcester 22 metre line and scored her first try in her debut for Moseley – well done Laura. The conversion was missed, 79 – 0 Moseley.

Inevitably, and appropriately, the final try of the afternoon went to Victoria Clifford. Becky Smith and Emily Williams made 50 metres between them from the restart, but Emily was unfortunate to be held up on the line. However, a quick off load to Victoria rounded off her afternoon with her fifth try. Conversion missed, final score 84 – 0 Moseley.

As the score would suggest this was a very convincing performance from Moseley. The away side were in charge from the kick off, utterly dominated the line out and were too powerful for Worcester in the loose. Moseley’s support play was excellent and this was a committed performance from a full squad of 18 as the substitutes who joined in the second half made a definite impact, notably Lorna Tibbatts, Kirstie Ashworth and Jane Hubble.

Still, Moseley coughed up possession through silly errors – mainly knock ons and forward passes. Although the referee made a number of dubious decisions and did not feel inclined to give Moseley the benefit of the doubt, this has got to be expected when a team regularly wins by margins of 50 points. Moseley must not give up possession so easily and should work to remove doubt from the referees mind in marginal situations by keeping the ball in hand and under control.

However, this was not the main lesson of the day, which was reserved for Worcester. In writing match reports this season I feel I have overused the superlative but if Worcester don’t figure extensively in this report that is because Moseley substantially shut them out of the game. Victoria Clifford and Emily Williams were justifiably Moseley’s players of the match, but there was a long line of contenders queuing behind them for honours. The usual suspects performed well in the forwards. In particular, Adrianne Fall, Katie Mahon, Louisa Nolan and Liz Dziergas, were always looking for work and making ground. Liz Plummer had an excellent first half at outside half and the rest of the backs worked well together, in particular Becky and Emily. Promotion is looking increasingly likely for Moseley as their points difference passes 600 for the season, is 1000 out of the question?

Tries: Victoria Clifford 5; Emily Williams 2; Louisa Nolan 2; Katie Mahon; Elizabeth Webb; Amy Pugh; Wendy Hooker; Laura Knott.
Conversions: Liz Plummer 6; Sarah Robinson 1
Andrew Minnis

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