32

Birmingham
Moseley

V

31

Taunton

15th April 2023 - 3.00pm
By Bobby BridgeBattered and bruised Birmingham Moseley overcame hardship both on and off the pitch to end their home National League One campaign with a gripping victory at Billesley Common.Adam Balding was forced to make late changes to his squad and field players out of position to face a Taunton Titans side brimming with Bath and Exeter Chiefs loanees.But even with captain Ollie Stedman patched up and limping and scrum-half Matt Marsh nursing a leg issue in the second half, Moseley held off a spirited Taunton fightback to edge an engaging contest courtesy of Dan Lewis’s late penalty.“The last five weeks have been a challenge,” said director of rugby Balding. “We’ve struggled to train properly due to the weather and not being able to get on the pitch. The coaches and players have had to adapt and they’ve done a fantastic job. Thursday was our first meaningful pitch-based session we’ve had for five weeks, which shows the impact it’s had on us as a group.“We had some lads pull out through injury, one of our starters unfortunately had a personal issue that he was dealing with and we wish him and his family all the best. Ultimately I think it shows the calibre of player we’ve got within the group and the belief that they’ve got to go out there and put on a performance to be proud of.”Moseley flew out of the blocks with Tuoyo Egodo powering over his opposite number to ground before captain Ollie Stedman drove over. George Gosling got Taunton off the mark from a powerful maul before Sam McNulty responded from the same method to give Moseley a 15-point lead at the break.“We were ruthless,” added Balding. “At this stage of the season it’s not physical it’s mental. It’s about your mental approach to the game and I thought to a man they were sensational, they were superb. Was it perfect? No. Did we have lads playing out of position? Yes we did.“But we stuck together and backed each other. I think Tuoyo’s try, the way he took it, he man handled a couple of players was absolutely outstanding and great to see.”The second-half saw a big swing in momentum as former Wasps back Immanuel Feyi-Waboso ran home from distance and Ratu Vakalutukali twice profited from loose defensive moments to put Taunton ahead with George Worboys immaculate from the tee.Crucially, Stedman returned to the field after succumbing to a knee injury in the first half and grabbed his second try to keep Moseley in the fight.Worboys and Lewis traded penalties before the latter landed a 40-metre effort, via the left upright, to secure his side maximum points and praise from Balding – whose side face trips to top-three clubs Sale and Cambridge to conclude their season.He said: “Dan is a great lad, a great professional, I love working with him and all credit to him. He stepped up in the exact same position at DMP away and he just put it wide.  To have the resolve to say, you know what, I’ll go and do it again, and he did, a pressure kick. Yes it came off the post but you make your own luck and what a fantastic feat it was.”
Moseley: Pointon, Egodo, Bulumakau, Creed, Painter, Lewis, Marsh; Priest, McNulty, Tideswell, Barnes, Butler, Safe, Morris, Stedman (c)Replacements: Foreman, Langley, Zindi, English, HarperTaunton: Dart, Mercer, Feyi-Waboso, Jenkins, Fenton, Worboys, Petherbridge; Rodd, Gosling, Dalton, Harvey, Knott, Vakalutukali, Wright (c), PriorReplacements: Spurdle, Ncube, Oliphant-Thomas, Elsworthy,  Strong
Birmingham Moseley (22) 32T:  Egodo 6, Stedman 12, McNulty 30, Stedman 61C: Lewis 14, 62, Pointon 32P: Lewis 35, 67Taunton Titans (7) 31T: Gosling 19, Feyi-Waboso 42,  Vakalutukali 47, 52C: Worboys 20, 43, 48, 53P: Worboys 63
Ref: Matthew SharpeAtt: 841Star Man: Ollie Stedman

Starting XV

Priest
1
McNulty
2
Tideswell
3
Barnes
4
Butler
5
Safe
6
Morris
7
Stedman
8
Marsh
9
Lewis
10
Egodo
11
Knox
12
Bulumakau
13
Painter
14
Pointon
15

Replacements

Foreman
16
Langley
17
Zindi
18
Fewtrell
19
Harper
20

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