Moseley Colts 19 Bath U19s 43 - November 27th 2005
Saturday brought the welcome visit of Bath, the Colts toughest assignment of the season. An early kick off offered the possibility of using the main pitch but three full scale matches inside 24 hours was felt to be unwise and the game therefore took place on the "Colts" pitch.
Preparations during the week had been "full on" in anticipation of the big step up from recent fixtures, and had concentrated on speed of thought and action particularly in defence.
The players were advised that this fixture was one to be relished with the prospect of pitting themselves against top players and seeing how they measured up against them. The simple truth was that a number of players fell short of the mark by giving the opposition room to play and missing 1st up tackles. On several occasions the Bath backs broke through poor or non-existent tackling to score tries without having to work through phases of play to get them. Of the six tries, the Moseley side had to retire to their try-line from a distance on at least four occasions.
In fairness to the backs, the season started with hardly any semblance of a line and new players have been recruited and drafted in almost by the week. This has been quite disruptive to training with positions being swapped and "bedding-in" processes having to be constantly repeated. There are however not many excuses for poor tackling.
The game was not all gloom however because from being hit with some easy scores, the home side rallied and showed that they can score tries themselves. The difference was that the Moseley scores came from playing phases and thereby creating pressure on the opposition. After a nervous and hurried start, the forwards won possession throughout and carried the ball to the Bath pack with growing confidence, so much so that two of the scores were the result of driving plays, with Lee Madelin on the end of both. The third try came from harrying the opposition on their own line and Matt Durber touched down a loose ball. Mark Coulson converted two of the tries.
A good game overall. The opposition backs impressive, and made to look even better, their forwards not as good as last year and outplayed to some extent (subjective). The players will now have an idea of where they stand relative to class opposition. For some this will already be the pinnacle of their careers, others will know the level to which they must raise their game to compete, and some now know that they can succeed in playing good class rugby if they work hard. Moseley Colts now move on with important areas of work identified for the lead up to the New Year and the next round of the National Cup.
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