1st XV Match Report V Rotherham (Away) Sat 16/02/2008 

Match Report

Rotherham Titans 11 Moseley 13 - February 16th 2008

ROTHERHAM: Claassens, Grissing, Allen, Lawson, Griffiths, Lennard, Hallam (Scully, 69), Corsar (O'Donnell, 52), Conroy, Bunting, Dunlop, McGowan, Jacobsz, Cochrane, McComish

MOSELEY: Bressington (Hayes, 66), Sharples, Binns, Trueman, Norton, Stenhouse, Taylor, Williams, McMillan, Sigley, Arnold (Pendlebury, 56), Tuohy, Mason, Bignell, Rodwell .


SCORERS: Rotherham Titans - Tries: Cochrane  Penalties: Lennard 2
 

Moseley - Tries: Norton Penalties:Stenhouse 2 Conversions:Stenhouse

Referee: Martin Fox (RFU)



Moseley show strength to break losing sequence - Birmingham Post

Rotherham Earth Titans 11 Moseley 13


Having shipped a combined total of over 150 points on their last two visits to Rotherham, and not having gained any League points at all in the last ten years' fixtures between the two clubs, it would be fair to assume that Moseley travelled north on Saturday with more than a degree of nervousness. That they managed to break the sequence then says as much about the Birmingham side's new-found combative edge, as about the decline in the Yorkshire side's playing strength.

There was further context to this match, as Ian Smith, now the coach, and the long-serving Andy Binns (pictured) were both in the Moseley squad which last gained a win in this fixture back in 1997. Furthermore this was the latter's 250th appearance in red and black, a rare milestone in the professional era. In perfect playing conditions

Moseley started badly, conceding a penalty in the second minute kicked by Titans' fly half, former Worcester Academy player, Jamie Lennard. They gradually shifted through the gears though, and following a series of transgressions at ruck and maul by the home side they forced a line-out deep inside the Rotherham 22. The defending side repelled the first catch and drive only by coming in at the side, and the second resulted in a yellow card, which could have been aimed at any one of about four Titans' forwards, with flanker Neil Cochrane the unfortunate recipient. From the third the ball was spun out along the line and when centre Gary Trueman took out two players by stepping off his right foot, he was able to give winger Dan Norton space in which to beat his man, which he did with consummate ease.

This try was converted by outside half Neil Stenhouse, and it seemed that the floodgates might open. A mistake at the re-start, though, led to another penalty kicked by Lennard, and within two minutes, on his return to the fray, Cochrane was driven over for a Rotherham try after some sloppy Moseley defending. Crucially Lennard was to miss the conversion, and it was two penalties either side of the half-time interval kicked by Stenhouse which decided the match in Moseley's favour.

Apart from a ten-minute spell when James Rodwell was sin-binned for killing the ball at a ruck, during the second period the Billesley Common outfit had a massive advantage, in territory and possession. Their play lacked any fluency though, and with both sides making elementary mistakes, the skill levels on show had both sets of coaches scratching their heads at the end.

Binns, with good reason, was contented afterwards however. "This is the third game on the trot where we have won by two points", he said. "Last year we would have probably lost all three, but what our supporters want and deserve is a winning team, and we would always rather win ugly than lose". This year Moseley have become a difficult side to beat when on their travels, and they should now be able to aim with some confidence at a top-half finish in the League.

 
 

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