Birmingham Moseley boss Adam Balding believes his team need 58 points to secure its National One status
by Paul Smith – Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Moseley boss Adam Balding believes his team need 58 points to secure its National One status. Balding’s team, who slipped to a disappointing home defeat against Plymouth Albion, now face a challenging sequence of games, only two of which are at Billesley Common.
And the former Leicester back-rower has called on his players to earn points from all of their remaining outings in order to keep the club in English rugby’s third tier. “Whether we like it or not, we are in a difficult position,” he said. “We have seven games left and we need to galvanise ourselves.
“Our next three games are on the road and that can be a lonely place or a good place – we need to make sure it’s the second of those. “Every game is important now. We needed a win against Plymouth, but we got nothing, and with seven games left we need to start picking up points.
“I think we probably need 15 points from the remaining games to make sure we’re okay. That starts with picking something up from every game, be that a bonus point or two or a win. Cambridge next week will be tough but is a game we need something from.” Plymouth took a 12-point lead through hooker James Salter, who applied the finishing touch to a lineout drive, then winger Alex Ducker who took Sam Morley’s inside pass to the posts for a score which the visitors’ fly-half also upgraded.
The hosts hit back through Mason Tonks who finished a try created by James Forrester then converted by Cliffie Hodgson. Critically, however, Moseley were unable to translate two long spells of pre-interval pressure into an equalising try despite Mike Worthington and Jonny Arr both going close. Plymouth extended their lead through a penalty try awarded as they attempted a scrum pushover, then secured the bonus point when replacement Max Norey claimed a try which Morley converted.
Moseley had the last word through back-rower Morgan Monks, but as Balding acknowledged they were out-battled by Albion’s powerful pack. “Plymouth shaded it through their physicality,” he said. “Ultimately you can have all the plays in the world, but if you don’t get basics right the game can get away from you.”
BIRMINGHAM MOSELEY: Forrester, Tonks, Joyce, Fatiaki, Roach, Hodgson, Arr; Foreman, Biggs, Langley; Wright, Worthington, Xiourouppa, Dawes, Lawrence. Replacements: Titchard-Jones Austin, Stephens, Monks, Palmer.
PLYMOUTH ALBION: Skelcey, Cornish, Squire, Pohe, Ducker, Morley, Snow, Kenny, Salter, Higgins, Collier, Pearson; Kelly, Mills, Stupple. Replacements: Smith, Norey, Setter, Pullinger, Putt.