1st XV Match Report V Waterloo Drummers (Home) Sat 06/01/2007 

Match Report

Moseley 12 Waterloo 20 - January 6th 2007


MOSELEY: Thomas; Bressington, Binns, Buckley, Aston; Hayes, Knight; Buxton, Caves, Bayliss, Arnold, Skelding, Evans, Bignall, Rodwell. Replacements on : Coles, Bick, Hunter, Replacements: not used: Moran, Hadley, Daniell, O’Leary

WATERLOO: Nutt; Kerfoot, Murchie, Payne, Broxson; Monro, Erskine; O’Keefe, Tyms, Prescott, Tchakoute, Townsend, Cross, Palmer, McKay. Replacements: Davies, Smith, Hopgood, Ince, Blyth, O’Donnell Loader

Referee: T Beddow (RFU).

Moseley 12 - Waterloo 20  (7 - 10)

Moseley Tries: Caves, Thomas  

Cons: Thomas   

Waterloo Tries: Palmer, Payne  

Pens: Monro 2  

Cons: Monro 2  

(Sunday Mercury)
SHOCKER FOR SMITH’S BOYS - Sloppy Moseley humiliated by lowly Loo

MOSELEY 12 WATERLOO 20 IF anyone at Moseley thought they would ease clear of relegation after last week’s win at London Welsh they were put right by a humiliating home defeat to bottom side Waterloo.

That the Birmingham side failed to take even a loss bonus from a match they would have expected to win merely hints that a winter of discontent lies ahead as does a long hard fight against an immediate return to National Two.

While conditions meant Waterloo did not put in a vintage performance, the display turned in by Ian Smith’s men was desperate, error-strewn and ill-disciplined. The result was probably fair.

But what an anti-climax. Moseley were seeking a third win in four games and to build up momentum at a decisive period in their season.

The victory at Old Deer Park was their third of the campaign and, had they beaten a team that was shut-out 44-0 on their own pitch last time out, they could have gone into next week’s derby with Pertemps Bees with real confidence.

But that will be a commodity in short supply at Billesley Common now and suddenly that match at Sharmans Cross Road and the following week’s visit from Otley must be won. The Exiles’ victory over Otley dumps Moseley back into the drop zone.

Supremacy The hosts spent the opening exchanges camped in enemy territory but were unable to take advantage of their positional supremacy.

Moseley invariably came up with a botched line-out, a knock-on or a turnover to waste a promising platform.

On the quarter-hour Waterloo came up with an opportunistic try. Moseley were attempting to run the ball out of their own half when poor protection at a ruck allowed Dan Palmer to kick towards the home line. That seemed to catch Moseley off-guard and the openside won the race to touchdown despite Red and Black claims that he had started from an offside position.

Fly-half Ander Monro converted and eight mintues later Moseley were penalised for a deliberate knock-on as Chad Erskine was attempting to recycle possession. Monro’s regulation kick made it 10-0.

After half an hour Moseley stole a line-out in midfield, battered their way down the left wing and spread play to Nathan Bressington.

The winger got round the outside of the ’Loo defence but was downed just short although Peter Murchie infringed at the breakdown and was yellow-carded.

With their man advantage Moseley claimed a line-out, saw their first drive repelled and regrouped to smuggle Adam Caves across the line. Ollie Thomas converrted: 10-7.

Monro made it 13-7 on 42 minutes before Thomas took a flat pass from James Rodwell and beat three defenders to weave his way over from 30 metres. He missed the conversion.

The hosts conceded a sloppy score as Freeman Payne charged down Tommy Hayes’ clearance and dotted down. Monro converted.

Moseley sink into mire

(Birmingham Post ) By Brian Dick at Billesley Common

While games against Waterloo have never been easy, one that Moseley were reliant on being a home banker not only turned into a soggy nightmare but may well have done irreparable damage to their hopes of staying in National One.

London Welsh’s victory over Otley dumped Moseley back into the First Division relegation zone and means appointments with both clubs at Billesley Common in the coming weeks assume massive significance.

But what state will Ian Smith’s men be in by then? They finished this encounter looking mentally fatigued — there can be no other explanation for the manner in which they allowed limited opponents to leave the Midlands with anything other than a spanking.

Waterloo may have been bad but Moseley were ten times worse, so poor in fact that it is difficult to recall more a wretched display during Smith’s two-and-a-half year reign.

As they usually are down Windy Alley, conditions were difficult. The pitch was heavy and unrelenting rain meant the ball was greasy and impossible to master. It was the sort of day when possession was a poisoned chalice.

So why, please tell, did the hosts try and throw it about like kids on a sunny day? While Waterloo did what was required — and arguably all they could — by keeping it tight and scavenging off errors, Moseley tried to outflank their opponents from first phase.

They managed to get down the side on one occasion — in the first half when a couple of charges up the middle created space for Nathan Bressington to get round the corner.

Although the wing was pulled down just short, his break ensured Peter Murchie was sin binned and created the platform from which Adam Caves was driven over. That made it 10-7 to the Merseysiders.

Even then Moseley did not learn the lesson that defenders have to be centrally committed before space appears further out and, for that, much of the blame must go to the half backs who — in fitting with their team’s effort — produced probably their worst displays in Red and Black.

Moseley weren’t only poor in the loose, however, they were pretty desperate at set-pieces too. They were always going to be under pressure in the scrum and so on reflection there should not be too many recriminations in that department.

But the lineout, both defensively and offensively, was shambolic. They failed to compete with the Waterloo throw in and tapped too much of their own. Paul Knight could not have enjoyed his afternoon clearing up that sort of bilge.

Smith, the head coach, hopes it proves a lost battle in a wider successful war: “There is a lot of rugby left,” Smith said. “It may be the kick up the backside that this group of players need.

“Suddenly they can see just why they have to focus and that they are vulnerable. I am hoping that this performance will bring things to a head and make them realise we are fighting for our future.” One of Smith’s major gripes is that Thursday’s team run went better than anyone dared dream. It seems when they play unopposed Moseley can beat anyone.

“We have got to bring that into a Saturday. For the last four games the performances have not been up to standard. Perhaps there is an expectation that because we train well it will just happen on game day.” It started off OK. Early territorial dominance was wasted by a succession of handling errors, lost lineouts and turnovers.

It was a major surprise, therefore, when Waterloo actually took the lead in virtually their first visit to enemy territory.

Even then they didn’t actually have the ball and it was only when it squirted out of a ruck set up by James Aston that openside Dan Palmer hacked on.

The flanker won the race to the touch down too but Moseley’s suspicion that he had come from an offside position appear vindicated.

Ander Monro landed the first of his four successful kicks.

The second came after 23 minutes from a penalty and it was half-an-hour before Caves got his team on to the scoreboard.

An important goal-line stand at the end of the first period ensured it was the Blundellsands men who went into the interval with the advantage.

Soon after the restart Monro made it 13-7 only for Ollie Thomas to slip free and weave 40 yards to the line. It was a superb piece of individualism but his missed conversion kept Waterloo ahead.

Then four minutes before the end Tommy Hayes had his clearance charged down and recovered by Freeman Payne and Monro’s extras deprived the hosts a loss bonus. It was probably appropriate because Moseley’s performance deserved no consolation.


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