1st XV Match Report V Birmingham Solihull (Away) Sun 10/04/2011 





B’ham & Solihull

(7) 14



(3) 23 


Hunt, Taulava



De La Harpe, B Pons



Woodrow 2



O Thomas 2






O Thomas 2






O Thomas 2









Chris White


















B’ham & Solihull



Tom Foden


Anthony Carter

Simon Hunt


Christopher Bishay

Will Lawson


Bevon Armitage

Rob Connolly


Andy Reay

Mitchell Culpin


Oliver Thomas

Mark Woodrow


Bradley Davies

Rod Petty


Ryan De La Harpe

Matt Long


Nathan Williams

Ross McMillan


Adam Caves

Tua Nglua


Terry Sigley

Semisi Taulava


David Lyons

Dan Sanderson


Paul Spivey

Russell Earnshaw


Michael Maltman

Jack Preece


Ben Pons

Mark Hopley


Chevvy Pennycook




Rob Dugard


Craig Voisey

Rosario Halavatua


George Warner

Ross Noonan


Richard Stott

Adam Clayton


Ben Maidment

Mike Denbee


Gareth Taylor

Jimmy Williams


Nathan Bressington

Ollie Winter


Andrew Borgen


Match Summary

(With thanks to Rugby Round-up)


B’ham & Solihull




Try Simon Hunt


5 - 0


Con Mark Woodrow


7 - 0




7 - 3

Pen Oliver Thomas

Rep Rosario Halavatua For Matt Long (Tactical)


7 - 3


Rep Rob Dugard For Tua Nglua (Tactical)


7 - 3




7 - 8

Try Ben Pons



7 - 10

Con Oliver Thomas



7 - 13

Pen Oliver Thomas



7 - 13

Rep Craig Voisey For Terry Sigley (Tactical)

Rep Mike Denbee For Ross McMillan (Tactical)


7 - 13


Rep Ollie Winter For Tom Foden (Tactical)


7 - 13


Rep Adam Clayton For Russell Earnshaw (Tactical)


7 - 13


Rep Jimmy Williams For Rod Petty (Tactical)


7 - 13




7 - 16

DG Oliver Thomas



7 - 21

Try Ryan De La Harpe



7 - 23

Con Oliver Thomas



7 - 23

Rep Ben Maidment For Ben Pons (Tactical)

Try Semisi Taulava


12 - 23


Con Mark Woodrow


14 - 23


Rep Ross Noonan For Dan Sanderson (Tactical)


14 - 23




14 - 23

Rep Andrew Borgen For Bradley Davies (Injury)



14 - 23

Rep Richard Stott For Paul Spivey (Tactical)



14 - 23

Rep Gareth Taylor For Ryan De La Harpe (Tactical)



14 - 23

Rep Nathan Bressington For Christopher Bishay (Tactical)



Match Report

Brian Dick, Birmingham Mail


 PhotoThe spectre of relegation that has stalked Bees for the past 18 months finally caught up with them yesterday as yet more self-inflicted wounds cost them their place in the Championship.


The errors that have blighted their campaign and undermined a team that – on its day – can play exhilarating rugby were in evidence once again as every unit misfired at one point or another – sometimes concurrently.


When the forwards needed to win a lineout or claim a restart, they didn’t. When the backs needed to master even the simplest skill, they couldn’t and when the half-backs needed to exude authority, exactly the opposite happened. And so it has been all season.


Needing to win and score four tries to extend this year’s fight against the drop to the final weekend, Bees managed two and lost out to strikes from Moseley’s Ben Pons and Ryan De La Harpe.


Bees’ wing Simon Hunt grabbed his ninth in four games against Mose and Semisi Taulava gave a final rendition of the heavy carrying that has earned him a contract with Rotherham.


But it was the incessant accuracy of Ollie Thomas’ kicking that did most damage as he underpinned the 15 minutes of coherence that won the day for the Billesley Common side. Much of the first half action, if fumbles and ineffectual kicking can be described as such, betrayed the tension as the interval came with Bees leading 7-3.


Moseley hoofed away what little possession they had and cannot claim to have felt short-changed by going in at the break with only one penalty under their belts.


After all Bees’ indiscipline gifted them their only two attacking positions of the period – both lineouts in the home 22.


By that stage the most notable mistake of the half had been made by the visitors and punished by Hunt. Nine minutes had gone and Mose were attacking when Hunt snaffled a short pass and raced 60 metres. Mark Woodrow accepted an easy conversion.


Bees failed to take the opening kick-off and the next time they saw the ball Pons had grounded it between their sticks after neat work by Terry Sigley.


Thomas converted and stretched the lead to 16-7 and then on the hour PhotoDe La Harpe collected his own chip and scooted over to spark joyous celebrations in the Red and Black ranks.


Taulava barrelled over with 12 minutes to go but Bees spent the final minutes as they had spent most of the season – squandering scoring opportunities



Brian Dick - Birmingham Post


The Season That Never Quite Was reached its logical conclusion for Birmingham & Solihull as they slipped, comatose out of the Championship and into the hinterland that is the community game.


And such is the malaise that has afflicted a team, which in the last eight months has specialised in the Near Miss, that on the day they needed any sort of Hit, they all but forgot to let go of the arrow.


Yes, they led 7-0 after nine minutes but that was more to do with Moseley’s attacking deficiencies rather than anything constructive Bees put together themselves. And so it was throughout.


 Once Simon Hunt had picked the visitors’ pocket and taken his interception 60m to the Moseley line, one expected the hosts’ nerves to settle.


Yet for all their frenzied commitment there was an anxiety that underpinned everything they did and while they were arguably the better side between the 22s, in the zone where games are won and lost - they were hopeless.


Fumbles, penalties and botched set-pieces abounded, which meant whenever they had edgy Moseley under pressure, the tension was defused without the visitors having to do anything heroic.


It’s been the same all season and is not only the reason why their level two status was under threat in the first place but also the reason why they lost it in the final analysis.



It would be wrong to blame individuals for the collective failing but the absence of a reliable centre partnership that has cost them so much this season, cost them once again as any semblance of rhythm was coughed up without dispute.


And if he can bear to watch this match back director of rugby Russell Earnshaw will also probably note an absence of leadership from his half-backs.


But given their demotion such considerations are mere deck chairs on the submerged Titanic.


Which meant by the time Semisi Taulava barged over for his seventh try of the season, the game was already up. The Tongan’s 68th minute score cut the deficit to nine points but it counted for little. This was a day when Bees made those arrears look like 900 points.


Not that Moseley were much better. If they bother to watch this match again they will reflect they were almost equally as profligate, though the individual skill with which Ryan De La Harpe made the game safe after an hour was a notable exception.


And off the pitch? There have been times when these neighbours have met in the recent past that tribalism has overstepped the mark, where decency has been sacrificed on the altar of parochialism.


This, though, an occasion replete with more than enough opportunities to indulge in schadenfreude, was different. There was no triumphalism from the Moseley supporters.


The Moseley players were rightfully restrained in their celebrations and one of the moments of the season came at the final whistle when Russell Earnshaw’s first action was to walk to the opposition dug out and congratulate the victors.


Those sentiments even included an embrace with opposite number Ian Smith, one which 12 months ago would have been inconceivable. Such grace reflected well on a man who has ruffled the odd feather or two in his time in Solihull.


And Moseley? A bullet dodged is the kindest thing that can be said. It would be wrong to infer from yesterday’s result - or indeed any of the 32 that have preceded it - that all is well at Billesley Common.


There are several issues that need reconciling, but none more pressing than how to increase the money available to their coaches.


Half a million pounds might sound a lot and few of us would have any objection to finding that sum in our bank accounts tomorrow morning.


However, it is not enough to fund the 30 professional players, two coaches and sundry support staff required to stand still at this level.


If Moseley don’t do that they will be back in the same situation next season, and the one after that, until one year they finish on the wrong side of the small margins.


And then they might be grateful they acted with such equanimity at Damson Park this afternoon