Colts U 19 away at Nottingham Academy
Nottingham Academy 34 – Moseley 7
It was a squad of Under 19’s, 18’s and 17’s that took the coach, to play a Nottingham Academy side intent on revenge for the reverse fixture played earlier in the season.
Moseley kicked off, gathered their own ball and put in some early pressure. They marginally had the better of territory during the opening exchanges, with both teams guilty of early handling errors leading to turnover ball. It was from one of these that Moseley managed a break to the Nottingham 10 metre line, recycled and passed to Jack McLaren on the wing, who burst through to face a one on one. However the defender was not to be beaten and forced a pass which went to ground.
Following a penalty from inside their own half Nottingham kicked to touch for a line out on the Moseley 22. They caught the ball and set up a drive which reached the 5 metre line before going to ground. They quickly got the ball out and had a two man overlap on the outside. It was not required as the ball carrier burst through to score the opening try.
It was the first of three tries in a five minute period with Nottingham muscling their way through tackles, taking advantage of some wide open spaces and poor defensive cover to quickly run up a seventeen point lead.
The next passage of play saw Moseley have the possession, but in their own half. Despite going through the phases and recycling well, the ball was slow to come out allowing more than enough time for Nottingham to set themselves to maintain the pressure. Inevitably Moseley knocked on their own 22, Nottingham won clean ball from their scrum and a well rehearsed move saw them able to run through another defensive hole to score a fourth try.
Again, more slow ball from Moseley was just inviting Nottingham to ramp up the pressure. A change of tactics saw some clever chip kicks from Dave Brazier giving the home side something to think about, with the Moseley backs using their pace to chase down and at least gain some ground.
Following a couple of quick penalties Moseley had a line out just inside the Nottingham 22. They caught their own ball and set a drive. The ball came to Arron Brown who broke up to the 5 metre line before he was tackled. Moseley recycled and kept the ball - they were to spend the next 5 minutes in and around the danger area. Nottingham defended resolutely, eventually winning a turnover which was kicked to touch for the half time whistle and a score line reading 24 points to nil.
The opening exchanges of the second half saw scrappy play from both teams. Once again the main points were slow ball from Moseley, with Nottingham being allowed to ride tackles far too easily. Moseley were once again punished when a run down the right wing from a Nottingham player saw him evade half a dozen Moseley players, who failed to put in a meaningful tackle, for the opening score of the second half.
Moseley once again changed tactics at the breakdown, passing the ball short and trying to drive through. They were keeping the ball, but not making much territory as Nottingham tackles arrested any forward momentum. Meanwhile Nottingham continued to ride rough shod through the Moseley tackling, until the visitors realised that taking the legs was an effective method of slowing the opposition down.
With a freshening wind behind them Moseley were starting to come to grips with the challenge and were having the better of territory and possession, although still without clear scoring opportunities. Nottingham came back with their own period of possession, but improved Moseley tackling, combined with the wind kept the home team mainly in their own half.
Moseley had a penalty which they kicked to touch a few metres outside the Nottingham 22. A successful catch and drive set up a rolling maul with the forwards combing well to keep the ball moving forward. A gap opened up in the line and Ben Meadows released Hayden Pitt to run in from about 8 metres to score, Dave Brazier adding the conversion.
Moseley were beginning to give as good as they got and started to shade position and territory for much of the remaining time. However Nottingham had a chance to clear their lines to the Moseley 22 to set up some late pressure with a drive to 5 metres. Scrappy play allowed Moseley to get back to half way but a pass to nothing saw Nottingham gather and a few passes and broken tackles later touch down in the left hand corner. It was the final play of the afternoon, with the wind making a shambles of the attempted kick, the referee blew for the final time.
Hopefully the lads will have gained from their experience, knowing that for parts of the game they were at least equal.
But the telling truth comes from an entry on the Nottingham Web site that told of an extra training session in preparation for this match. It is a situation the Moseley coaches can only dream of – with work, school and college / university commitments, as well as a dose of apathy amongst some of the players, the most the squad see of each other is on match day!
What can be done to change that is the big question
Forwards: J Lawless Fisher, J Baillie, A Cotton, T Short, T Dalton, M Hibbs, J Coleman, B Meadows
Backs: R Dinardo, D Brazier, C Wellington, J Oliver, L Brookes, J McLaren, C Fensome,
Replacements: A Brown, J Ajayi, O Sankey, H Pitt, C Ward, P Cadogan, J Hammond
Try: Hayden Pitt (61 mins)
Conversion: Dave Brazier
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