1st XV Match Report V Launceston (Away) Sat 29/09/2007 

Match Report

Launceston 10 Moseley 25 - September 29th 2007


Moseley: M Williams; Bressington, James, Cox, Sharples; Jones, Taylor; N Williams, Caves, Forster, Arnold, Atkinson, Mason, Bignell, Evans.

Replacements: Buxton, McMillan Uzoigwe Lightowler Winter, Ireland, McDonald

Launceston: A Birkett; M Jess, M Sweeney, S Perry, J Fabian; S Alred, B Turner; J Bolt, O Hambly, R Liddington; S Pape, T Parker; J Lord (capt), T Roques, W Sprangle.

Replacements: D Manns, T Hurdwell, D Kimberley, T Rawlings, S Alford, R Westren, M Dibble

Launceston (3) 10 - Moseley 25 (18)

Launceston: Tries: Aldred (66)  Pen: Aldred (36)  Con: Aldred

Moseley: Tries: Sharples (5), penalty (39), Atkinson (70) Pens: Jones 2 (37, 57) Cons: Jones 2

Referee: Adrian Hartwell

Touch judges: Richard Parker-Sedgemore, James Minards

Assessor: Steve Leyshon

Attend: 873

Smith's men travel long road to impressive win - Birmingham Post

Moseley earned their head coach's praise after putting two resounding league losses behind them to respond with a victory at a daunting venue where they have never previously won.

Ian Smith professed himself pleased with his team's result although he admitted they could have easily taken a try bonus, as well as four National One points, from their trip to Cornish All Blacks.

Scores from Charlie Sharples, Oliver Atkinson and a penalty try gave the Billesley Common outfit their third win in five games and was the perfect response to recent thrashings by Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs.

Sharples, the loaned Gloucester wing, finished off a well-worked move midway through the first period and his team were also awarded another seven points by the referee.

Two penalties from Matt Jones then made it 18-3 at the break before an athletic piece of work by Canadian international Oliver Atkinson (right) saw the lock scamper 25 metres to the line for a second-half score which sealed the win.

"It was a good result," Smith said. "It is a difficult place to play because of where it is. It's a long old haul to get down there which can unsettle a few teams.

"It was important we got a result. People talked about us having played what are possibly the best two teams in the division and taken two quite heavy defeats, so we had to prove we could bounce back and get some more positive results.

"In the first half, we should have had a lot more points and would have, but for some silly individual errors but in the second half we got frustrated and were dragged into a kicking duel."

One downside was a foot injury picked up by Paul Arnold, who is now unlikely to play any part in the game against Newbury next weekend.


DECISIONS PUZZLE ALL BLACKS - Western Morning News Report

Referees at this level should know what they're doing because results in the Leagues' top flight can have major repercussions for clubs.

I may be doing an injustice to Adrian Hartwell - the man officiating in this National One match between the Cornish All Blacks and Moseley at Polson Bridge - but some key decisions mystified well-informed spectators in the stand, and probably the home players too, and turned the game.

Going into first-half injury time the visitors were ahead 5-3. They had had an ideal start when their wing Charlie Sharples scored in the corner after a kick to touch from his astute fly-half Matt Jones, a line-out and a handling move.

Five minutes on, his opposite number, Stuart Alred, who bagged all the All Blacks' points, missed a penalty shot by a whisker.

The game went back and forth with sweeping attacks from both sides until the 39th minute when Alred landed a simple penalty after Moseley handled in a ruck.

An intimation of what was soon to come had been seen ten minutes earlier when Moseley drove towards the home line and dropped the ball in a m??l??e. All Blacks' openside flanker Tony Roques dived in on what was a loose ball and was promptly yellow-carded for collapsing a maul.

After Alred's successful goal All Black wing Matt Jess, set off on a piercing diagonal run. Moseley went offside yet inexplicably were awarded the penalty, which Jones landed.

Nevertheless the All Blacks looked set to go in at the interval only 8-3 down with the prospect of an exciting, evenly matched second half. Then came the debacle. Two minutes into injury time All Blacks' skipper, blindside flanker Josh Lord, was also carded, this time for preventing release of the ball. However, it was pretty clear that he was away from both ruck and ball at the time.

In the 46th minute the All Blacks seemed to be succeeding in stopping Moseley from scoring from a driving maul, when, with no warning, a penalty try was awarded against them for coming in at the side, which they hadn't. Jones added the easy extras and at the interval the All Blacks were suddenly 15-3 down.

Their joint head coach Chris Brown was philosophical about it all but, reading between the lines, you could sense his frustration and annoyance. He said: "It was very disappointing not to take the result. However, that sort of performance from us was very pleasing. The manner of our play and our style was very exciting and we couldn't wait to get the ball over the line.

"I felt that we had more opportunities than they did but we didn't quite take full advantage at the crucial moments.

"We can't control decisions from the officials on the field, but ultimately we had chances to win the match but didn't take them. But there's a long way to go in the season and not for one moment did anyone say that this League wouldn't be tough. Collectively we were pleased with the team performance but disappointed with the result."

The All Blacks came out for the re-start raring to go and Alred, centre Steve Perry and full-back Andy Birkett kept up their well-directed, booming territorial kicks of the first half to keep Moseley on the back foot. The backs ran the ball with a will and intelligently, while the home forwards fought manfully against a juggernaut of an opposing pack.

Attack after attack swept towards the visitors' line and Jess and left wing Jon Fabian were both stopped agonisingly inches short of the line.

Moseley spent much of their time in their own half, but on a rare foray into home territory were awarded a penalty for handling on the ground, and Jones obliged with the three points to stretch his side's lead ominously to 18-3.

The spirited All Blacks, however, kept coming and in the 66th minute were finally rewarded when Alred blitzed away from a midfield backs move, split the defence wide open and shot through to score and convert.

The match was lost for the All Blacks in a moment of inexplicably weak defence, when Moseley's giant lock Oliver Atkinson picked up from a scrum on the home 22, brushed off tackles and trundled through to the posts for Jones to add the extras and seal a victory which was much more of a battle than the final scoreline might suggest.


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