Worcester Colts 7 Moseley Colts 12 - February 25th 2006
Moseley achieved the season double over their local rivals with this reasonably comfortable win. Although the score line was close, two or three further scores were lost with a ball dropped, and a couple of hold-ups, over the line.
A very strong wind greeted the players in this match and Moseley played into it in the first period. Worcester had the better of the early exchanges and were able to push the visitors back with the benefit of the wind. However, it wasn't long before Moseley started to carry the ball forward with good results. The home side gave away a number of penalties trying to defend and consequently Moseley enjoyed a lot of the play. The wind being so strong however meant that no great distance could be gained up the touchline and kicks for goal were out.
On 15 minutes the first reward for their efforts came with an excellent display of driving rugby that took the ball from around the visitors 10 metre line to force a penalty on the opposition 5 metre line. The resultant forward carry gave Nigel Burrows the try which Mark Coulson converted.
The game carried on in much the same vein with Moseley generally in charge for much of the time but errors in the final 22 and some tighter defence stopped the score increasing. Of course, in these conditions the hard work of gaining metre after metre could be nullified with one mistake which could send you back to where you started, or further!
From one such situation, with about 7 minutes remaining, Moseley were penalised in their own 22 and Burrows was yellow-carded for hands in the ruck. Only 3 minutes later loosehead James Thomas followed him for a similar offence. A 2 man deficit was too much for the visitors to overcome and Worcester took full advantage to score a converted try.
The first half finished 7-7 and Moseley had definitely performed well in the conditions. Thoughts of the 2nd half in the National Cup came to mind, when defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory by ignoring the use of the wind. Would the lesson have been learned?
The first objective was to ensure no further scores were conceded whilst under-strength. This being successfully accomplished, Moseley kept the opposition under pressure for good periods and were only denied by close calls on the line. One try was scored following a number of phases with Ollie Edwards outpacing the cover.
As it happened, the use of the wind from within the visitors half was not a huge factor as play was not often in that area but the effect of such tactics was made clear to the players when U17 debutant fly-half Jamie Oliver moved play from outside the Moseley 22 to inside the opposition 22 on one occasion.
A welcome return to winning ways then, but with Bath away next, a big step up in intensity is required. Finally, Moseley may be 2 up on Worcester this season but the 3rd meeting of the sides will take part in 3 weeks time when a return to Sixways in the semi-final of the North Midlands Cup will be the result that counts.
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