4th March 2023 - 3.00pm
by Bobby Bridge – Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Moseley’s next four games are ‘massive’ according to boss Adam Balding after his side suffered a third consecutive defeat.
Tries from Aquile Smith and Ryan Roach sandwiched Rosslyn Park’s effort from Luc Smith to establish a half-time lead in south west London. But two converted scores from the hosts’ Charles Piper and Matthew Bolwell ten minutes after the restart changed the game before Jack English responded with a quarter-of-an hour remaining as Moseley closed the gap but ultimately suffered a third straight loss. With six rounds remaining, Balding’s side hold a 15-point buffer on second-from-bottom Leeds and the director of rugby knows there’s work to be done to ensure his side aren’t sucked into a relegation battle. “We’re very conscious that it’s still very tight from second bottom up to eighth,” said the former Leicester Tigers forward. “We’ve got some notable fixtures coming up. We’ve got Cambridge and Hull away then Leeds at home, Plymouth away then we’ve got a break. “So, the next four games are massive. We have to keep taking points in every game that we play in and we also have to pick up a couple of wins that we need to target.” Having lost by one point to Darlington Mowden Park and by three a week previously to the table-topping Rams, Moseley split the difference at Priory Lane. Despite coming out the wrong end of a hat-trick of close affairs, Balding remained pragmatic. “I’d say we were the better side,” he said. “It was three tries apiece, all that separated the two teams was a missed conversion. We had some young lads starting for us which was really exciting for them. Ethan Priest at tighthead, we had Josh Olver and Christopher Romano come off the bench. Two good young rowers who were getting blooded which is fantastic. “We can’t ask any more from the players. They were superb. We probably just let ourselves down a couple of times five metres from their line. In weeks gone by we’ve actually converted and I’ll probably saw we lacked just a bit of a clinical edge a couple of times when we visited their 22, apart from that I’ve got no real grumbles. “The lads worked so hard, the bench came on and did really well. It was a good game all round. Rosslyn Park played well, they’re a good side they certainly made us work for the points. “We struck first and went in at half-time in the lead. The first 10 minutes of the second half we were a bit cold and they scored two tries and then after that, I’d say we kind of controlled the game. I’m not even going to say that we ran out of time because I don’t think we did. We just missed two clear cut opportunities.” Balding pointed to the fact that at one stage in the second half, five of the forward pack were aged 22 or under as youth is given its chance in the closing chapters of the season. “When one door closes, one opens and it creates an opportunity,” Balding added. “At this stage of the season, once you go past the 17th of February, your squad is your squad and when you get injuries you have to work around it as best you can. I think the young lads who came in the front row were superb. “Having so many young lads out there paints a really positive picture moving forward, but ultimately we need to win.”
Rosslyn Park: Robinson, Amadi, Alexis, Gordon, Trimble, Holland, Lewis; Buckingham, Piper, Garvey, Spencer, Gillanders, Bolwell, Ellis, Laventure. Replacements: Rasor, Burns, Ledger, Baldwin, Smith
Moseley: Pointon, Smith, Allsopp, I.McNulty, Bulumakau, Lewis, Marsh; Foreman, Roach, Priest, Ayling, Barnes, Safe, Forsythe, Stedman Replacements: Olver, Romano, English, Egodo, Creed.