Moseley 10 Jersey 3
Greene King IPA Championship
Saturday December 21st 2013
by Tom Innes /*report reproduced by kind permission Jersey
The shortest day of the year was a day lacking in cheer for Jersey
players and supporters, who will hope that, as the nights get
shorter, they will progress onwards and upwards in the new
The Islanders began in determined fashion: they may have been
playing up an appreciable slope at Billesley Common and into the
face of a stiff breeze, but they dominated possession in the early
The penalty count soon swung Jersey's way, but place-kicking
into the wind would have been a lottery and Niall O'Connor mainly
opted for tactical nudges to the corners, only for Moseley's
defence to hold firm as their opponents tried to breach the home
Jersey's backs attacked with purpose but had little to show for
it. Jack Burroughs was a lively presence at full-back and twice
chased his own up-and-under kicks and claimed them with superb
leaping catches. However on the first occasion he was let down by
his team-mates' failure to retreat. Moseley's Will Hooley, the
fly-half who is dual-registered with Northampton Saints, took a
shot for goal from 45 metres and his kick was accurate enough to
open the scoring.
Jersey continued to press, with some solid carrying from the
forwards, with Latu Maka'afi an especially conspicuous presence,
but there were a number of handling errors that led to turnovers.
The most expensive of these enabled Moseley to feed the ball via
some audacious passing to Matt Williams, the left wing who had
switched to the opposite flank and raced half the length of the
field to score and make it 10-0.
O'Connor finally signalled to the posts when Jersey won another
penalty - Moseley were warned for persistent offending at this
stage - shortly before half-time and slotted a kick from close
The first score of the second period looked crucial, but neither
side was able to produce it. Both sides made changes in the front
row, with former Jersey player Ben Evans among those entering the
fray, but otherwise there was a notable lack of replacements - nine
unused bench players must surely be close to a record?
Jersey's scrum was the stronger of the two packs, especially
with the slope in their favour, but this advantage was neutered on
some occasions by the referee awarding Moseley a free kick at the
engagement stage. Each side's kicker had a solitary shot at goal in
the second period, but both attempts were wide.
With around an hour gone Jersey were awarded a scrum on
Moseley's line, with the crowd falling quiet with nerves. Everyone
in the ground, including referee Ross Campbell, seemed aware this
was a pivotal moment. There were eight re-sets over as many
minutes, including a penalty and a free kick to Jersey, but the
Islanders' pack couldn't manage the major drive that could have led
to a penalty try, and eventually Campbell ruled in Moseley's favour
with a penalty that enabled the hosts to clear their lines.
Coming away empty-handed was a frustrating outcome for Jersey,
and it was little surprise that tempers frayed during the latter
stages, with Evans and Dave Young earning yellow cards after a
fractious exchange between the two packs.
There was a chance that Moseley could have snatched Jersey's
losing bonus point away with a late attack, one of their few forays
into Jersey territory in the second period. Hooley darted through
midfield and span the ball wide, but his colleagues were penalised
for crossing when a try looked inevitable. Jersey were able to
clear the danger, but not to press for an equalising try before the
final whistle blew.
Interim Head Coach Steve Boden was a disappointed man, and for
the second consecutive week it was his side's execution, rather
than any lack of effort, that he blamed for the result.
'There's no point me going into the dressing room shouting and
screaming,' he said. 'The boys have given everything, but they have
made too many mistakes, the most important of which cost us seven
points which ended up as the difference.
'When we make mistakes other teams are punishing us, but we
don't do the same when it's the other way round.'
Boden was reluctant to comment on the officiating, particularly
in relation to the lengthy sequence of scrums, but admitted the
game wasn't the sort of contest that would put smiles on faces.
'We should be able to come here and win, we are well capable and
I'm backing the boys to come good in the new year,' he said.
'They've got a break now, but we will be back working hard on
Sunday [December 29th] and have a full week's build-up to the
London Welsh game [on January 4th].
'They may be the league leaders, but we'll be going into the
game to win it - we'll be scrapping for every single point and the
boys are definitely up for the fight.'
Moseley Head Coach Kevin Maggs admitted the game wasn't a great
spectacle, but that didn't mean he wasn't pleased to come away with
'We've had a lot of rain here the last couple of days and the
conditions were pretty bad, but at the end of the day we have
picked up the win - it wasn't pretty but we knew before the start
that it would be a tough contest against a good side.
'The scrums will be a big discussion point and everyone is still
getting to grips with the new laws. Fair play to [referee] Ross
Campbell, he does it by the letter of the law and wants the scrum
to be stationary, pushing to be straight and binds to be
Maggs was supportive of Boden's efforts since taking charge of
Jersey earlier this month.
'I've got a lot of respect for Steve and what he believes in and
he'll be working very hard to turn things round for Jersey in the
second half of the season.'
Forwards: Sean McCarthy, Elvis Taione, David Young (YC
74), Dave Markham, Alex Rae (capt), Latu Maka'afi, Fred Silcock,
Ben Maidment; Half-backs: Jimmy Williams, Niall O'Connor;
Backs: Mark McCrea, David Bishop, Drew Locke, Grant
Pointer, Jack Burroughs. Replacements: Nick Campbell for
Silcock (33 minutes); David Felton for Taione (HT); Tom Fidler for
McCarthy (75). Unused replacements: Nick Selway, James
Voss, Joel Dudley, Mark Foster.
Moseley: Voisey, Buckley, Parkins, Woolford,
Powell (capt), Lawrence, Robinson, Mason; Brown, Hooley; Williams,
Gregory, Armstrong, Hunt, Carter. Replacements: B Evans
(YC 74) for Parkins 52, Warren for Voisey 52. Unused
replacements: W Evans, Carpenter, Brazier, Owen, Ryan.
Referee: Ross Campbell
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.