1st XV Match Report V Cornish Pirates (Away) Sun 02/12/2007 

Match Report

Cornish Pirates 15 Moseley  7 - December 2nd 2007

 

CORNISH PIRATES: Paver, Kemp (Dawiduik, 61), Heard (Seal, 61), Senekel, Beardshaw, McKeen (Motusaga, 48), Cracknell, Matt Evans, Fairhurst, Steenson, Moore, Winn (Devlin, 71), Lilo, Koko, Thomas (MccAtee, 71).
MOSELEY:  N Williams (Buxton, 40), Caves (McMillan, 72), Sigley (Bayliss, 60), Atkinson, Tuohy, Mason, Bignell, Mark Evans, Ireland (Taylor, 70), Macdonald, Bressington, Cox, Binns, Sharples, Winter (M Williams, 74).

Referee:
Mr. D. Rose (RFU)


SCORERS: PiratesTries- Lilo, Motusaga, Conversion & Penalty- Steenson

Moseley Try Mason, Conversion- Macdonald

By Graeme Welch at Cambourne Recreation Ground

This was not a pretty game for anyone to watch except the purist, but in the context of their season it may well turn out to be a defining match for the men in red and black.

That Moseley did not get anything from this match was, even to those few faithful supporters who had made the long journey to Cambourne, perhaps a little unfortunate, for they dominated the first half and had territorial advantage for long periods in the second.

The rain-sodden pitch and gale force wind which Moseley chose to face in the first half dictated their style of play. The forwards kept control of the ball by playing in narrow channels either side of ruck and maul.

With Adam Caves, Neil Mason and Terry Sigley especially taking the eye Pirates were frustrated into conceding early penalties, one of which was inexplicably missed in front of the posts by Greg Macdonald. Nevertheless, the half was Moseley's, even though the scoreboard was untouched.

The second half began in similar fashion until the fifth minute, when a succession of penalties allowed Pirates to gain some momentum and Tongan World Cup player Vunga Lilo powered his way over for the first try. This was converted by Gareth Steenson.

Moseley, showing greater cohesion than in recent weeks came back quickly and forced a position deep in Pirates' territory from where captain Neil Mason was driven over, Greg Macdonald converted to level the scores.

The game now was see-sawing between Moseley's forward control and Pirates attempts to play a wider game, so it was somewhat incongruous that their second try in 20 minutes was from a driven maul with replacement Iva Motusaga, a Samoan international, getting the touch down.

With Steenson missing the conversion and the game still finely balanced Moseley began to kick on their ex-team-mate Ollie Thomas who was playing at full back. Despite one or two moments of confusion at the back, desperate defence by the Pirates back row, in which open side Cracknell (later awarded man of the match) was outstanding, foiled Moseley's attempts to score.

Then on 74 minutes a series of short Pirates attacks gave them a penalty kicked from in front of the posts by Steenson. This galvanised Moseley into attempts to gain a losing bonus point, which was not to be, and the game ended as it started with Moseley on the attack. A last ditch clearance by Pirates foiled Moseley's final thrusts at the full-time whistle.

Despite the defeat Moseley can take great heart from this performance. Playing against one of the more expensive, full time professional sides in National One they competed on equal terms, they showed they have a good pack of forwards who have maybe underachieved in the first half of the season and have a back line which is capable of making and finishing chances.

Head coach Ian Smith spoke of his pride in the team: "We battled hard today and deserved to get something from the match.

"We can take this performance forward to the next month when we have a series of important games.

"I know that our players have gained greater belief in themselves today and although we have things to work on, we can look forward to the future with a positive, confident frame of mind."

 Birmingham Post

 
 

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