by David Lawrence
Moseley chief Adam Balding wants more pride and passion from his side as they head into a run of games that could define their season.
Players were ushered straight to the dressing room after the game – some home truths rather than the post-match huddle being the order of day.
“We have to address the attitude,” Moseley’s director of rugby admitted. “We spoke about it in the dressing room just now and I think the lads got the message. I wanted them to listen to a bit of honesty.
“I make mistakes like the rest of the management group but I wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m passionate and proud and that’s what we need from everyone who pulls on that shirt to represent this club and this city.
“Unfortunately there were too many times in that game when the passion and pride wasn’t there. It comes down to how much you want to hurt and how much you want to feel pain. We need to have a reflection period.”
Moseley struggled against a precise and well-drilled Rams side in the opening half, only managing to enter their opponents’ 22 in the final few minutes in spite of having the gusting wind at their backs.
By then their visitors had opened up a 12-point lead with hooker Max Hayman and back row Tom Vooght going over.
A string of changes either side of the interval boosted the home side and although prop Tony Marris added a third for Rams, a debut try from impressive no8 Seb Nagle-Taylor gave Moseley a glimmer of hope.
But that was dashed when Hayman was driven over for his second of the game followed by a third Rowan Grundy conversion and a sin-binning for Rams’ winger Henry Bird came too late to influence proceedings.
Balding added: “We were looking for a fast start – it’s what we had planned and spoke about all week. But for the full 40 minutes of the first half we were second best, you can’t dress it up any other way. We were second best physically, second best in terms of urgency – we got outgunned in every facet of play. Our set-piece functioned but there was no bite to it, we carried but there was no bite.
“I thought the bench that came on today changed the game. Every single one of them was superb and that’s the type of energy and physicality we’re looking for.
“We have three massive games – Tonbridge away, Plymouth at home and Leeds away – and we have to win all three. That’s not pressure, it’s just fact – we need to go and win all three games.”
Moseley: Hibberd, Smith, Ma’asi, Allsopp, Tonks, Pointon, Combes; Foreman, McNulty, Tideswell, Kiff, Butler, Hutchinson, Munro, Nagle-Taylor. Reps: Genade, Barnes, Langley, Priest, Egodo.
Rams: Leicester, Bird, Bryant, Hayhow, Robson, Grundy, Cole; Marris, Hayman, Baker, Taylor, Schroter, Guttridge, Vooght, Stapley. Reps: Moffitt, Englezos, Everitt, Dykes, Boyland.
Ref: Alan Chandrachud
Moseley Star Man: Seb Nagle-Taylor
by David Lawrence
Moseley were out-thought and out-fought by a Rams side who secured a bonus point victory thanks to a starring role from their pack.
Hooker Max Hayman and prop Tony Marris claimed three of the tries with back row Tom Vooght chalking up the other while Moseley’s effort came from debutant Seb Nagle-Taylor.
Hayman claimed the opener after just eight minutes, forcing his way to the line at the foot of the post after a period of early pressure from the visitors.
Vooght added the second score just shy of the half-hour and there could have been a third had they made the most of an overlap out wide rather than passing the ball into touch.
Moseley, who had the slope and stiff breeze in their favour, failed to trouble Rams throughout the half until moments before the break when they kicked to the corner for a five-metre line-out only for the ball to be knocked on.
The hosts livened up in the second half with replacement prop Ethan Priest twice going close to going over only to loose possession just short of the line and then failing to ground the ball after barging his way over.
And it was harsh on the hosts when, following a decent spell, it was Rams who broke upfield and following a handful of phases, claimed a third try from prop Marris, the excellent Vooght again involved.
Nagle-Taylor did dot down to give Moseley a moment of hope after scrum-halve Jack Combes’ tapped penalty but it was the visitors who wrapped up the scoring ten minutes from the end when Hayman was driven over for his second with Rowan Grundy slotting over his third conversion of the game.
The Red-and-Blacks played some of their best rugby in the latter stages of the game and an excellent run upfield from Sam Pointon deserves to be rewarded with a try but the powerful fly-half was stopped in his tracks just short of the line with Rams winger Henry Bird picking up a yellow card in the aftermath.
The result means it is four straight wins for Moseley going into a crucial run of games that will see the lock horns with Tonbridge Juddians, Plymouth Albion and Leeds Tykes – three of the four clubs below them in National One.