MOSELEY 29 CORNISH PIRATES 20 - April 19th 2008
MOSELEY: Binns; Sharples, Adams, James, Bressington; Hayes, Taylor; Williams (N), Caves, Buxton; Arnold, Stott, Atkinson, Bignall, Rodwell.
Replacements used; Mason, Lewis, Cox, Winter: Replacements not used Oselton, Ensor, Evans.
Replacements: Paver, Heard, Dawidiuk, Betty, Lilo, Ireland, Steenson.
Referee: D Rose (RFU).
SCORERS: Moseley – tries: Sharples, Adams, Bressington, Atkinson; penalty: Hayes; conversions: Hayes (3).
Pirates – tries: Cracknell, Ireland, Heard; penalty: Thomas; conversion: Steenson.
MOSELEY SAIL PAST PIRATES
Four tries in a feast of attacking rugby
MARAUDING Moseley put visiting Cornish Pirates to the sword with a scintillating display of running rugby.
They took this game by the scruff of the neck and put the Pirates on the backfoot right from the outset and soon silenced the Cornishmen's huge travelling army of supporters.
Although the Pirates won a line-out from the kick-off, Moseley's livewire centre Jack Adams intercepted and raced 40 metres before being stopped in his tracks.
The ball was then spun out to hooker Adam Caves who drove for the Pirates' try-line, only to be stopped just short.
Alert Moseley flung the ball back across field for winger Charlie Sharples to scamper over and fly half Tommy Hayes duly fired over the conversion to put the red and blacks 7-0 ahead.
This immediate breakthrough clearly rocked fourth-placed Pirates, who proceeded to spend the entire opening quarter penned back deep inside their own territory.
Pressure The fact Moseley failed to turn all their pressure into points became a concern, especially after full back Andy Binns was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
Pirates took advantage of their numerical advantage and plundered a try of their own when second row Bruce Cummins crashed over from a close range drive.
Former Moseley favourite, fly half Ollie Thomas, failed to add the conversion on his return to Billesley Common.
But he gave the home support a reminder of his kicking qualities when landing a spectacular long range penalty from just inside Moseley's half.
Thankfully, opposite number Hayes also had his shooting boots on to good effect, swapping penalties with Thomas to give Moseley a slender 10-8 advantage at the break. Moseley came flying out of the traps again for the second half and quickly added another try.
From a series of pick-up and drives, the ball was suddenly dispatched to Adams who weaved his way over to score, Hayes hammering over a sublime touchline conversion.
Moseley sensed the game was there for the taking and applied continued pressure, for which they were soon rewarded.
The excellent Adams swooped upon a stray Pirates pass and carved his way clean through the Cornishmen's cover before unselfishly sending winger Nathan Bressington away to score on the overlap. A fourth try should have followed soon afterwards with the Pirates defence all at sea.
Back row forward James Rodwell raced down the flank and sent prop Nathan Williams clear, who touched down – only for referee David Rose to ruin the prop's big moment by ruling out the try for an alleged forward pass.
The disappointment gave Pirates some much needed respite.
Gareth Steenson, a second half replacement for Thomas, punched a huge hole in Moseley's defence before sending another replacement, centre Mark Ireland over for a try, which Steenson quickly improved upon.
Pirates were ringing the changes at a rapid rate by this stage, bringing on replacement props Alan Paver and Sam Heard. Within minutes, the pair of them were spectators after receiving yellow cards to leave Pirates in a pickle with just 13 players.
Moseley made the most of this situation and flanker Ollie Atkinson was duly driven over from a close range maul, Hayes providing the conversion points to put Moseley out of sight at 29-15.
Pirates refused to lie down, and Heard, back in the action after his sin-binning, bulldozed his way over with the final move of the game.
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