Moseley score six to delight the travelling support
By Jon Meadows
Moseley will have travelled wary of the threat posed by the opposition. Taunton had only won three of their matches this season, but two of those were home wins against top four sides, and with eleven try bonus points from fifteen games the visitors were up against free scoring opponents.
Birmingham Moseley received the ball from the kick off, but some scrappy play saw an early penalty for Taunton. With the ball in the middle of the park and just inside halfway Frankie Dart opted to go for the posts. Unfortunately a strong gust of wind took the ball well to the left resulting in a 22 dropout.
The ball was collected by the home team on the visitors’ 10 metres and worked up to the 22. With another penalty in front they opted to kick to touch but overthrew the line out.
The next passage of play was halted to allow extended treatment to Andy Bulumakau for what looked a serious injury. Fortunately he was able to hobble off towards the dugout – the opposite direction to the changing rooms.
Having kicked a penalty to touch Taunton successfully gathered the line out to set up a drive. With the ball going nowhere they opted to pass infield. Going through several phases they were unable to break through until a grubber kick just evaded everyone to go dead. However it had been a kick to nothing as Moseley had once again been penalised. With a tap and go from about 8 metres the ball was worked up to the try line, Charlie Wright touching down with Dart this time successful.
Moseley were enjoying the better of the possession, but some loose handling was impeding any real advantage. Taunton had kicked the ball through into the arms of Sam Pointon, with the referee awarding a free kick just inside the visitors half he ran up to the mark. The defensive line had no time to form and a clever chip and chase allowed him to run in almost unimpeded to score a wonderful solo try, Jack Jolly converting.
Moseley were soon on the score sheet again. With the ball on their own 10 metres Moseley saw an opportunity to get the ball to Dan Brough who was in space. He got into the visitors’ half before being tackled. However a clever reverse offload to Ollie Stedman on the right wing kept the ball alive, it was worked infield eventually finding Isaac McNulty. A cleaver dummy allowed him to run into a vacant area before passing to Aquile Smith on the left who was able to cross the line, the conversion attempt pushed wide.
Taunton had been awarded a penalty about halfway inside the visitors half. With two opponents having a vigorous disagreement the referee called the game to a halt to sort things out. Having talked to both captains he decided no further action was necessary, presumably much to the annoyance of one of the Moseley contingent, as the penalty was marched forward 10, giving Dart an easy 3 points.
Moseley were once more having the better of possession, but this time with more secure handling. With a 5 metre attacking line out a drive was set up before Ryan Roach peeled of the back to touch down, Jolly once more pushing the ball just wide.
There was just enough time for one more meaningful chance. Moseley had a defensive scrum which was disrupted by the home pack and a penalty awarded. What seemed a simple chance from just outside the 22 in the middle again seemed to be caught by the wind and was pushed to the left for the half time whistle.
Moseley started the second period strongly. An attacking lineout on the left hand side, the ball was worked infield. With a break into the 22 the ball was worked to the right, eventually finding Ollie Allsopp who ran into the right hand corner to secure a try bonus, Jolly’s kick falling just short.
Moseley were enjoying the upper hand in both territory and possession, and when Taunton did get the ball they were unable to get through a resolute defence. An attempted chip and chase was charged down by the defence only to be gathered by Allsopp who kicked through into space. Running through he gathered the ball once more and ran in on the right hand side, with Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley who had taken over kicking duties adding the extras.
With Moseley’s quick line speed snuffing out most of the home teams attempted advances nothing of any great meaning was occurring, until a frenetic closing period. Taunton had kicked a penalty to touch, just inside their own half, Moseley disrupted the line out. However an attempted pass inside was intercepted by Luke Bralsford who had a clear run down the left wing to touch down, a difficult conversion pushed to the right of the posts.
The referee disagreed with the score board which was indicating time was up and allowed Moseley to restart. Some scrappy handling from both sides was ended when Moseley gathered the ball. It was worked from right to left, finding Smith who broke through. Tackled short of the line, he had offloaded to Roach who touched down his second. The conversion attempt drifted just to the left to bring the final whistle.
Judging by the three pitchers of beer and several dozen plastic beakers that went into the away dressing room, the visitors were pleased with their efforts. Speaking to Ollie Stedman in the bar afterwards he thought that, on balance, Ollie Allsopp was Moseley’s man of the match.
With most other matches being called off the win takes Moseley to fourth in the table and hopefully cements their position in the top six of the league.
Tries: Wright (11), Bralsford (77)
Conversions: Dart (12)
Penalties: Dart (30)
Tries: Pointon (17), Smith (22), Roach (35, 80), Allsopp (42,60),
Conversions: Jolly (18) Maxwell-Whiteley (61)