Moseley 19-24 Bedwas
Saturday 27th August 2011
It is misleading to read too much into a score line and the one above is no exception. This was a game of two halves. The Moseley starting XV looked assured and in control for the first half and for ten minutes into the second and led 19-0 until the wholesale changes occurred to give everyone in the squad some game time.
The whole front row had also been changed at half time although with not that much difference to the performance. It was the unfamiliarity on the 50 minute mark of the newcomers to one another, allied to their generally lesser experience which meant that Moseley started to be on the back foot and Bedwas gradually took control with scores inevitably flowing from this.
Bedwas had a well balanced side and were particularly feisty up front with a couple of fractious exchanges early on between some big forwards as you would expect between Welsh and English sides. The visitors’ line out was working well on three different throws to start with but Moseley coped well defensively and snuffed out any attacking moves.
Our pack gained some good ball also but solid Bedwas defence kept us out. However the pressure eventually told and we scored two tries from broken play mistakes and a further one was from some good Moseley approach work.
The ball still seemed slow to the backs which did not provide much space for them to shine. Billy Robinson showed a glimpse of his deceptive running in the second half which probably suggests that with a bit quicker and better ball, our backs could be dangerous this season.
When you consider that such stalwarts as Pennycook, Stott and Mason (except for a brief few minutes towards the end) were all missing it was not a bad pack performance for the first fifty minutes. The relatively young back row of Pons, Ellery and Maltman combined well and the No 8 in particular seems to be making a prominent claim for full time possession of that position.
Moseley’s starting XV
1. Craig Voisey
2. Adam Caves
3. Colin Quigley
4. Paul Spivey
5. Dan Sanderson
6. Mike Maltman
7. Ben Pons
8. Mike Ellery
9. Gareth Taylor
10. Brad Davies
11. Jamie Hearn
12. Andy Reay
13. Jack Adams
14. Brad Hunt
15. Anthony Carter
by Phil Hall
Another ‘friendly’ pre season game Moseley should have won. Excellent team work in the first half gave way - as with Aberavon - to another Welsh second half revival.
In the first half Moseley started in a similar manner as last week at Aberavon weathering early pressure from Bedwas giving away a couple of penalties in the process. But within five minutes a Moseley kick ahead was followed up by close pressure and Pons was on hand to intercept a wayward pass between the Bedwas winger and his full back. From 25 yards out he streaked for the line, handing off the full back en route and scored a lovely try. Moseley number 11 (Jamie Hunt - Ed?) converted to make the score 7-0 within as many minutes.
The Moseley back row forwards were once again running riot and forcing Bedwas to give ground with effective rucking and counter rucking. The Moseley pack was also unfortunate that a series of scrums near the Bedwas line went unrewarded and at least one penalty try could possibly have been just reward for that pressure. .
None-the-less the Moseley players were in control and on 22 minutes a lovely grubber kick by Davies from 30 yards out put Reay through just to the left of the post. Number 11 converted again and the home team was cruising with a 14-0 lead. However, although Moseley pressured Bedwas into mistakes there was no other score in the first half. The Bedwas players, to their credit, often threatened but Moseley snuffed out all the efforts and the first half finished 14-0 to Moseley. As with the game against Aberavon, Moseley had control.
The “red n blacks” came out of the blocks in the second half ‘tout de suite’ and within five minutes Ellis scored a peach of try. From 50 yards out he picked up a loose ball and scorched down the right wing leaving the Bedwas backs clutching fresh air. This mirrored the opening try in the first half by Pons and extended the half time 14-0 lead to 19-0. And that was it.
As with Aberavon, Bedwas began to play with typical Welsh flair and passion. Their scrum half became a right nuisance and caused lots of problems with his darting runs. But what made his run the more effective was the support he got. These players kept the ball alive with good close inter-passing.
Just like Aberavon they attacked the narrow corridor at number 10 with their big men – and they had a few. This pulled Moseley in a little - not as much as at Aberavon - but enough to create space for the creative runners in support and it became their turn to make Moseley scramble into frantic defence.
But the writing was on the wall. In the second half when Bedwas had the ball they looked like scoring – and did – whilst Moseley, reduced to defending, didn’t. Indeed, to add insult to injury Bedwas, in the last seconds of the game waltzed through some atrocious Moseley tackling to score under the post and win the half and the game.
As with last week there were encouraging positives, particularly in attack. The combative pack, combined with a very lively back row will be a force to reckon with. In the three quarters, the centre combination of Adams and Reay, along with the wingers, complement each other very well.
However, one must not lose sight of the fact that, as with last week, all penalties were converted to position – which would not be the case in a close league game – therefore there could be an underlying mood of optimism throughout the squad.
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