Rams 26, Birmingham Moseley 27
by David Lawrence
A great week of training and the impact of coaches helped prepare Moseley for a thrilling five-point victory at Rams.
But according to director of rugby Adam Balding it was the great passion shown by his players that finally edged them over the line, Dan Lewis’ late penalty securing victory by the slenderest of margins.
“It shows what happens when, mentally, you turn up,” the Moseley chief admitted. “It has been a great week training and the lads took responsibility for what they wanted today – this was their performance. You could tell at training during the week that this was going to happen and they all played their part but I have to mention how hard the coaches have worked – Pete Glackin and Ashley Johnson – who have both been superb.
“The one thing you can’t do in sport is feel sorry for yourself. You have to pick yourself and move on and that’s what we’ve done following the defeat by Stortford. We knew the game plan we were bringing along today and the boys executed it and they were superb.
“Rams are a great side and it was an excellent game of rugby. We left a couple of tries out there and they probably felt they had the same. But I’d say we probably just shaded it and deserved the five points. They are a good attritional side and if you don’t turn up physically you are found wanting. We knew we had to respond from last week and that’s just what we did.
“Every player showed what it means to pull on a Moseley shirt and that’s all we can ask for. Sometimes you have to realise it is a game of emotion.”
Moseley claimed two tries in each half – matched by their hosts – before Lewis slotted over the match-winning penalty five minutes from the end.
Johnson, called into action to replace hooker Sam McNulty after just five minutes, was driven over for the opener with Lewis adding the second following a line-bursting run from centre Reikiti Ma’asi.
Hooker Max Hayman and back row Tom Vooght crossed for the Rams who led 14-10 at the interval courtesy of Sam Nicholls’ two conversions.
The second half was just as even with Connor Hayhow and Robbie Stapley going over for the hosts, Nicholls kicking one of the conversions, while Mason Tonks bagged a brace for Mose – a full-length charge upfield after intercepting a pass and a cool finish in the corner following a neat passing move.
Lewis added the extras each time and then kept calm to slot over the late penalty.
Rams: Humberstone, Rossiter, Bryant, Hayhow, Leicester, Nicholls, Cole; Marris, Hayman, Baker, Taylor, C Stapley, Everitt, Vooght, R Stapley. Reps: Moffitt, Englezos, Schroter, Kalling-Smith, Englefield.
Moseley: Benjamin, Tonks, Allsopp, Ma’asi, Pinton, Lewis, Combes; Foreman, McNulty, Tideswell, Ayling, Butler, Kiff, Fisilau, Le Roux. Reps: Langley, Johnson, Munro, Hibberd, Smith.
Ref: Alan Chandrachud
Moseley Star Man: Reikiti Ma’asi