Senior Academy Match Report V Leicester Tigers (Away) Sat 23/09/2006 

Leicester Academy U19 - 18  Moseley Colts - 3  - September 23rd 2006

Facing arguably the toughest assignment of their season, Moseley Colts did themselves and their club proud by proving themselves to be worthy opposition to a strong Tigers Academy side. (See Tigers Preview;)

After a gap of about 6 seasons, the fixture has been remade with this first encounter being played at the excellent Academy training ground. An Aston Martin Advantage bearing the plate B4CKY gave an early insight into the standard of coaching staff employed.

When playing premiership opposition over these past 3/4 seasons, the Colts have endeavoured to remain as competitive as possible given the obvious difference in playing strengths of the teams. Generally this has been achieved, but this has been down to a never-give-in work ethic where defence has been the mainstay, and attack minimal due to lack of ball and ball retention.

On Saturday, the Moseley side were asked to continue their hard work of pre-season and 4 match unbeaten start, by not only being defensively competitive but offensively also. This would require a solid platform through good 1st phase possession, and building phases by ball retention.

To their great credit, the Colts did as they were asked and ensured that the Tigers were never able to relax and play comfortably. The Moseley pack, giving a fair bit away in size, were solid on their own ball, allowing the backrow to be an attacking force, and quite destructive on the opposition ball thus denying them the same benefit. The Colts lineout also functioned well on the limited occasions it was called into action. On the opposition throw it was always going to be difficult but the resultant drives were well-defended.

The backs for their part were able to run various of their plays and were always trying to be positive although too many balls were kicked away, when keeping it in hand would have proved a better option. The backs defence was very good generally and deserves a mention.

The first score was posted by Moseley when a backrow move led to some excellent linking play to just outside the Tigers 22. Under pressure a penalty was conceded and Alex Warner made no mistake with the kick. Shortly afterwards, with the home side attacking in the Moseley 22, the backs strayed offside, a quick tap was taken and Leicester scored in the corner. This was improved with an excellent kick.

The game was fairly well matched throughout and it was to Moseley's credit that the only remaining scores of the first period were 2 penalties from a good distance out, which the Tigers elected to kick for goal rather than go for the corner etc.
Halftime arrived with the score at 13-3 and the team playing confidently but with skipper Matt Durber having to retire with an injured wrist, and only 2 forward subs to use as fresh legs, the question was whether the team could retain their shape and ball-winning ability for the remainder of the match or struggle to stay with their well-conditioned opponents.

The fact is that they did stay the course. They kept their shape for the most part and remained in charge of their own ball. The defence stood the test and only 1 further score was posted when, early in the 2nd half, a penalty was conceded on halfway and the resultant kick pushed Moseley back to the 22. Good lineout ball moved quickly across the pitch was touched down in the opposite corner to make the score 18-3.

An important point to make to the Moseley players here is that all the opposition points came from penalties, directly or indirectly. Offend at this level and you get severely punished, especially if the kicker is as good as Leicester's was. Well done lads, a commendable performance but keep aiming higher, you want to win as well!