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)
Tries: Bressington, penalty Pens:
Thomas Cons: Thomas Cons:
Tries: Sanders Pens: Russell 2 Cons:
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
Resolute Moseley make wasteful Coventry
By Brian Dick at Billesley Common
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
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
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
“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.