Moseley 42 Bridgend 21 - August 25th 2007
For the first time Moseley had a
strong contingent of the dual registered players available. Prop Jack
Forster and centre Jack Adams joined Gloucester loanee James Bailey (wing)
in the starting line-up, with Ross McMillan (hooker) and Dan Norton (wing)
on the bench. Five of the summer signings also started with newly arrived
Canadian Lock Oliver Atkinson watching from the sidelines.
Moseley (35) 42 Bridgend (0) 21
Match Report from the Bridgend Website (a supporter’s version)
Moseley 42 Bridgend 21
Arrived at a very nice, open and baking hot Moseley RFC after some trouble with traffic on the A449 at Monmouth.
Moseley RFC was very well equipped although it was suggested that they were sponsored by port-a-cabin!! Gareth David led the Ravens out to a warm welcome and the seasons first real chanting of Bridge,Bridge,Bridge from the contingent of 30 or so Ravens fans stood behind a large Welsh Flag draped on the railings.
Bridgend started brightly and for the first 10 minutes competed well with Moseley not having much of the game but after gaining a penalty just short of the Bridgend line, ex-Raven, Matthew Jones, whilst lining up a kick to the touchline, changed his mind and whilst the ravens discussed a line out that never came he executed a perfect cross kick for the Moseley right wing to gather in the corner and score the opening try.
What followed was a good display of typical English rugby. Moseley gained possession and depending on field position either formed an extremely effective driving maul or passed to Matthew Jones to kick for position, who with the wind at his back, continued to have a great game and couldn't really put a foot wrong. Bridgend were not helped by a stuttering lineout and coughing up some turnover ball in vulnerable positions and by a worrying knock on the promising young prop Phil Price's shoulder to force an early substitution.
Some of Bridgend's defence to prevent certain scores was at time heroic but equally at times fragile. During this period of heavy defending Gareth Williams was yellow carded for slowing the ball down at the ruck area and on one occasion illustrating Moseley's frustration with the never say die defence a large scuffle broke out resulting in a penalty clearance kick for Bridgend. Richard Radford should gain a particular mention for 2 miraculous try saving tackles within 2 minutes but unfortunately at half time the score was Moseley 35 Bridgend 0 with most of Moseley's points emanating from catch and drive at the line out and no sign of anything different in the second half.
The second half started with both teams flying into each other with the same intensity as the 1st but the score remained unchanged. Following some substitutions by both sides however Bridgend put together a fantastic display of typical Welsh rugby and through an attractive flowing move using most of the players on the park wing Gareth John crossed for a try which gained the appreciation of the Moseley crowd and the adulation of the Bridgend gang who began baying for more. A few minutes later they were not disappointed when Gareth John crossed again from a similar example of attractive creative rugby. A further Bridgend score was added by a strong run from Ioan Cunningham and more could have come but for the touch line and handling errors following strong charges from Rory Pitman and Marvin Thomas. After a series of Bridgend quick tap penalties the Moseley flanker was sin binned for tackling well within 10m of the tap penalty. Despite Bridgend dominating most of the second half Moseley scored once more and the fight back was beyond Bridgend's reach. Final score Moseley 42 Bridgend 21. Bridgend winning the second half 21-7!!
Despite it being a full blooded and bruising encounter Bridgend came through largely unscathed and Phil Price's injury apart (which will need to be assessed) the management were happy to confirm no major injury concerns to worry them in the build up to next weeks league opener against Neath at the "beloved" Gnoll.
Thanks to Moseley for a great day and a good welcome and thanks too to Matthew Jones for taking our barracking in such good spirit (and returning it too) and then coming over for a chat at the end. Exactly what Rugby Union is all about. Friendly rivalries on the pitch and just the friends part off the pitch!! http://www.bridgendravens.co.uk/
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