Moseley 10 Launceston CAB's 12 - April 12 2008
MOSELEY: Binns; Sharples, James, Cox, Bressington; Hayes, Taylor; Williams, Caves, Buxton, Arnold (Evans, 58), Stott, Mason, Atkinson, Rodwell. Replacements: Oselton, Ensor, Bignell, Lewis, Stenhouse, Winter.
Referee: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts (RFU).
SCORERS: Moseley – try: Bressington; conversion: Hayes; penalty: Hayes. Launceston – penalties: Fabian (4).
Moseley waste chances to beat LauncestonBirmingham Post
Moseley scored a superb try, could have had four more, were held up over the line twice yet lost to a Launceston side that barely threatened in 80 minutes.
The Cornish All Blacks made up for their limitations with the sort of desperation of men fighting for their National One lives. They hustled and harried, stretched off side to the limit and in full back Jon Fabian they had a kicker who did not fold under pressure as he maintained a 100 per cent record in his four attempts.
The Cornishmen were also assisted by some strange decisions by referee Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts particularly with the final penalty which gave Launceston the lead and the match. Whatever interpretation was put on the rules it was always the wrong decision.
The All Blacks kicked ahead and Moseley scrum half Gareth Taylor scrambled back and dived on the ball whereupon he was immediately tackled while on the ground. The ball squirted out and was picked up by a Moseley defender and the referee gave a penalty apparently for preventing Launceston collecting any advantage from the spilled ball despite the fact their nearest player was ten metres away.
Although Moseley are probably safe from relegation it is a decision which could have far-reaching repercussions for bottom club Pertemps Bees and Sedgley Park who dropped to the second bottom thanks to Launceston's win. In truth, though, the match should never have come down to a generous penalty. Moseley had enough chances to win it and spurned them all.
Tommy Hayes, at fly half because Neil Stenhouse pulled out in the warm-up, landed a penalty on 13 minutes, Fabian repluied six minutes later and that was how it stayed to the break.
On the restart, though, wing Nathan Bressington collected on the right and the ball was worked through midfield and out to the left where Bressington was there again to go over in the corner and touch down behind the posts. Hayes converted and at 10-3 the game should have been over.
Moseley, though, came inside when the ball should have gone wide, ignored overlaps and missed the final pass on cutting breaks. All the while Fabian was chipping away at the lead with penalties on 45 and 54 minutes before the decisive kick with 15 minutes to go.
Moseley did think they had scored with a drive in the right corner but the refereee disa-greed and deemed the ball held up. From the scrum Moseley gained a penalty and Hayes had the chance to win the match in the dying moments but pulled the kick wide and Launceston lived to fight again .
Moseley coach Ian Smith said: "It was all in our hands. We had opportunities and we did not take them, glaring opportunities sometimes. With proper passing we could have scored two or three tries.
"Launceston came down and took a lot of risks, desperate men do desperate things, and when it did not quite go our way and the ref was not picking things up they got frustrated.
"There were a lot of unforced errors, the conditions caused errors and both sides were making them but the ones that really hurt us were the unforced ones. It is not a performance to be happy with against a very mediocre side."
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