Adam Balding full of pride for brave Mose
Moseley may have lost to Old Elthamians by the narrowest of margins but director of rugby Adam Balding saluted his players after their latest display. Two tries from Zac Xiourouppa and one from Matt Dight left the Red and Blacks just short with two late penalty misses from Cliffie Hodgson proving vital as the visitors held on for a nail-biting win.
Balding said: “I thought that was one of our best performances of the season. It had everything. It’s just we have to pick ourselves up and go and get five points against Canterbury next week – not just a win but five points. “I love this game with all my heart but it can be so frustrating and I feel so sorry for the players because the boys deserved more than they got.
“We had opportunities to win but didn’t take them. I’m not too bothered what the teams are doing below us, I just want us to win and then it doesn’t matter what happens elsewhere. We should be coming off three straight wins but instead we’ve had one win and two losses, but within two points each time, that’s the most frustrating thing. It was a proper 20-man effort and that’s the sort of display we need to see in every game and if we get that then we’ll get some back-to-back wins, which is what we deserve.”
Xiourouppa claimed the first of his tries from a catch-and-drive following a penalty kicked to the corner after just five minutes. There was a repeat performance midway through the half from the former Worcester back row before the visitors clawed their way back through a brace of tries from scrum-half Ollie Claxton and a Hilton Gibbons penalty, which edged OEs into a 15-14 interval lead.
The visitors had George Eastwell binned early in the second half but, after Hodgson had kicked Moseley ahead, it was OEs who claimed a third try through Louis Brown.
Matt Dight immediately nipped in for his score as the Billesley Common side made the most of their penalty advantage but Louis Brown’s penalty ten minutes from the end proved vital. Cliffie Hodgson unfortunately had no such luck at the other end with one effort hitting both the upright and bar and another sailing wide.
MOSELEY: Hodgson, Roach, Joyce, Fatiaki, Smith, Palmer, Arr; Foreman, Biggs, Langley, Worthington, Wright, Xiourouppa, Dawes, Lawrence. Reps: Titchard-Jones, Dimen, Monks, Dight, Crofts.
OLD ELTHAMIANS: Brown, Hotson, McGann, Eastwell, Goble, Gibbons, Claxton; Holenstein, Fordham, Hay, Flashman, Parker, Saunders, Barton, Quinton. Reps: Concu, Boon, Munnelly, Luxford, Hobman.