Birmingham Moseley 34-21 Tonbridge Juddians
by Paul Smith – Sunday Mercury
A superb second half display featuring some scintillating attacking rugby saw Moseley to their fourth win of the National One season.
With centre Andy Bulumakau and full back Tom Benjamin always prominent, Adam Balding’s team also claimed a try bonus point that banished memories of recent disappointments against Chinnor and Cambridge.
The visitors’ intent to play at high tempo was immediately apparent with the ball being kept alive at every opportunity.
This caught Moseley on the hop to such an extent that they conceded five penalties in the opening three minutes then lost prop Joe Foreman to the sin bin when referee Dan Rowlands ran out of patience with their repeated indiscretions.
And worse then followed from a home perspective as Tonbridge drove lock Perry Parker over for a try which fly half Tom White converted.
Moseley’s best attack of the opening quarter saw them win a penalty under the visitors’ posts following Benjamin’s slashing break. However, after opting for a scrum they were penalised at the ensuing breakdown.
But the home full back soon got his reward when he broke down the left wing and cleverly recovered his own chip ahead before diving over for a try which was upgraded by debutant fly half Jacob Fewtrell.
White was wide with a straightforward penalty on the half-hour mark but nonetheless it was Tonbridge who went into the break with the lead after Hugo Watson squeezed into the clubhouse corner for a try which White converted with a superb touchline kick.
This was cancelled out immediately following the restart when a sublime backs move saw the home centres combine before Bulumakau’s brilliant offload sent Sam Pointon racing to the posts for a try which Fewtrell improved.
And the home side were ahead for the first time five minutes later when back-rower Kailus Hutchinson forced his way under the posts following a series of close-range thrusts to claim a try which Fewtrell upgraded.
The Red-and-Blacks had the bonus point on the board late in the third quarter through skipper Will Safe who was driven over by his pack following a lineout.
Fewtrell’s fourth successful conversion gave the hosts a 14-point advantage which the Leicester academy product soon extended by a further three with an angled 30-metre penalty.
Pointon went close to claiming his second score and Moseley’s fifth when narrowly beaten to his own chip ahead by the covering Watson before Fewtrell added a second simple penalty.
Tonbridge replacement Michael O’Sullivan claimed a late consolation score which White converted.
Birmingham Moseley: Benjamin; Dight, Bulumakau, Allsopp, Pointon; Fewtrell, Combes; Foreman, McNulty, Tideswell; Barnes, Hutchinson; Johnson, Safe, Le Roux.
Replacements: Owen, Morris, Butler, Zindi, Tonks.
Tonbridge Juddians: Taylor-Dennehy; Chapman, Tout, Nicoll, Watson; White, Edwards; Reid, Duffy, Conlon; Parker, Louw; Foulds, Sullivan, Colderick.
Replacements: Sassone, O’Sullivan, Ashmore, Lucas, Young.
Referee: Dan Rowlands
Star man: Andy Bulumakau
Half-time: Birmingham Moseley 7-14 Tonbridge Juddians
Tries: Benjamin (25), Pointon (41), Hutchinson (47), Safe (54)
Cons: Fewtrell (25) (41) (47) (54)
Pens: Fewtrell (58) (78)
Tries: Parker (5), Watson (40), O’Sullivan (80)
Cons: White (5) (40) (80)