by Paul Smith
Birmingham Moseley’s proud unbeaten home run under new boss Adam Balding came to a shuddering halt on Saturday when unfancied Cambridge left Billesley Common with a thumping 10-45 bonus-point success.
And according to skipper Jonny Arr, although Moseley’s National One opponents are getting more clued up on Balding’s newly-assembled squad, the Red-and-Blacks need to look closer to home for the root cause of their round 11 defeat.
“With us having a good start to the season, we do have to now consider that teams are doing more homework on us as they’ve realised we pose a threat,” he said.
“But that wasn’t the reason we lost to Cambridge – it was more about us having a particularly bad day at the office.
“We have to address a number of areas, but improved discipline is top of the list.
“We have picked up so many yellow cards that we’ve now played a couple of hours of rugby a man down. That is like going into a boxing ring with one arm tied behind your back – we simply have to make a change.”
Hooker Will Biggs’ try plus a conversion and penalty from Cliffie Hodgson sprang Moseley into an early lead, but thereafter Cambridge rattled up 45 unanswered points as their misfiring hosts even failed to make the Billesley Common slope count in the second half.
“It was a tough day; we went into the game with plenty of confidence given our unbeaten home record but we came up second best and were beaten by a better team on the day,” Arr acknowledged.
“Cambridge have played some good rugby in recent weeks and picked up some useful results – but we were bitterly disappointed with our performance.
“We made a good start and played some good stuff to get ten-nil in front, but then let them in through a couple of sloppy errors and they were very clinical when they had chances.
“We were still confident at half-time since we always back ourselves playing down the slope, but we just couldn’t get a foothold in the game as we continued to make errors.”
Moseley are now part of a densely-packed mid-table group, and their former Worcester scrum half says they must bounce immediately back this weekend when high-flying Blackheath are the visitors.
“We have another home game coming up which gives us a good chance to immediately turn things round,” he said.
“That starts a really important spell for us as we face a number of the top teams in the next block of four games – coming into that on the back of consecutive defeats we have a big task ahead of us.”