The Extras Make a Difference
By Jon Meadows
Moseley were off the mark as early as the first minute. Taunton kicked off down the slope, the ball taken by Ollie Steadman who broke up to the halfway line and passed inside for further progress to the visitors’ ten metres. Quick ball from the ruck passed out to the left wing, finding its way to Sam Pointon who broke through a couple of tackles to touch down for Tighe Maxwell-Whitley to calmly add the conversion.
Shortly after the restart Moseley had a penalty on their own 22 which was kicked to touch just inside Taunton territory. A catch and drive to the 10 metre line set up a pass out to the left and some good handling saw Aquile Smith break through, cutting inside to make Maxwell-Whitley’s task that much easier.
Taunton tried to force their way into the game with some sustained periods of possession but could not break through a resolute defence. They had a line break of their own from a distance, but a scrambled home defence managed to prevent a score. Instead it was Mosley who would score again. From a lineout halfway inside the visitors’ 22 the ball was thrown to the back to set up a driving maul which went all the way home for Sam McNulty to touch down, Maxwell-Whitley again being successful.
Taunton once again tried to apply pressure, but the Moseley defence was again secure even when they went a man down to a Batsirai Zindi yellow card, shortly before the whistle blew for a half time score of 21 – 0.
The second half again saw two early tries, this time for the visitors. The home team was still down to 14 and superior numbers counted with Benjamin Oliphant-Thompson and Noah Fenton scoring. Both were wide out on the left and difficult conversions were missed. Immediately following the second of these scores, Moseley were restored to a full complement and bounced straight back with some smart interplay, allowing Smith to run in once more for another 7 points.
The visitors were once more trying to apply pressure, going through several phases at a time, recycling the ball well but could not seem to find a way through. They had some limited success with a series of chip and chases but could not convert possession into points.
The visitors were down a man when Jordan Petherbridge was shown yellow for a high tackle. Even now they continued to apply pressure to the Moseley line and were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty just in front of the Moseley posts. They opted for a tap and go with Charlie Wright finishing a good drive and Francisco Diaz Dart adding the extras.
Moseley found themselves with a scrum on their right hand side about halfway inside Taunton’s half. They drove it forward and, with a penalty advantage, Olie Steadman picked up from the back and charged up to the 22. With most of the forwards still entangled in the scrum, Freddie Painter ran through to collect the loose ball and run in under the posts.
The home team was to spend the last 8 minutes a man down when Ollie Allsop also saw yellow and the visitors made use of the numerical advantage to score a late try in the left corner, the conversion once more unsuccessful.
Not long was left before the referee indicated time was up and the ball kicked un-ceremoniously into touch for a final score of 35-22.
Speaking to Adam Balding afterwards, he was rightly proud of the defence qualities shown throughout the match. As he said, Taunton had come to play rugby and were a tough opposition. It showed that the squad was beginning to show its potential.