by David Lawrence – BIRMINGHAM MAIL
Birmingham Moseley head coach Pete Glackin praised the 80-minute performance from his players as they chalked up an impressive five-try victory over Plymouth.
Watched by seven members of the Midlands Counties (West) side that beat New Zealand at The Reddings 50 years ago, they raced into a 14-point lead inside five minutes and kept the pressure on until the final play when they crossed for their final try of the game.
“We have been searching for an 80-minute performance and I think we’ve got it today,” Glackin said. “We have been close to it on a few occasions but today I thought the boys fought for every moment, created some really good opportunities and scored five fantastic tries. The defence was also sublime at times so as a complete performance for us, to get five points at home in front of great support at Billesley Common made for a fantastic afternoon.
“We knew that Plymouth wouldn’t go away and we spoke about it at half-time. We had played some nice rugby and scored some neat tries but we knew we had to put them away by being disciplined and by showing grit, attitude and passion defensively. Then to score on the final whistle to get the fifth try just wrapped things up.”
Plymouth arrived fresh from beating high-fliers Rosslyn Park but were sent reeling by their quick-firing hosts. There were just three minutes on the clock when hooker Sam McNulty broke through a ragged defence and run 30 metres to the line with Aquile Smith sprinting over two minutes later. Dan Lewis bagged the extras as he did with all five Moseley tries.
McNulty claimed his second of the game midway through the half with the West Countrymen finally posting their first points just before the break when prop Ramaz Rukhadze crashed over for a converted effort.
Referee Neil Sweeney sent a steady stream of players to the sin bin – Moseley forwards Harry Barnes and Ben Morris joining Plymouth lock Angus Hodges and winger Frank Nowell – but still the tries kept coming.
Debutant Moseley second row Ross Bundy finished off a decent move for his side’s bonus try with 15 mints to go and although James Salter doubled Albion’s tally, it was the home side who had the final say when replacement Rob Knox dived in following the final play of the game.
Moseley: Pointon, Smith, Creed, I McNulty (Knox 65), Egodo, Lewis, Marsh; Foreman (Priest 63), S McNulty (Olver 74), Ajayi (Romano 69), Barnes (Bundy 46), Butler, Koroyadi (Barnes 63), Morris, Stedman.
Plymouth: Jones, Nowell (Burne 63), Welch (Edwards 54), Eastgate, Speare, Putt (Groves 63), Stone; Rukhadze (Beasley 60), Petty (Salter 56), Pullinger-Ham (Rukhadze 65), Clemson, Hodges, Clarke, Raumakita, Stupple.
Referee: Neil Sweeney
Star Man: Oli Stedman (Moseley)