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Match Reports 2012-13

Moseley (A) 5.1.13

06/01/2013

Moseley 23 Jersey 19
RFU Championship
by Tom Innes

Jersey suffered a sixth successive away defeat in the
Championship, although an impressive rearguard action in the final
quarter scared hosts - and relegation rivals - Moseley and limited
the damage.

The Midlanders went 23-9 up having scored their third try after
62 minutes, and look set for a bonus-point win that would have put
them four ahead of Jersey at the bottom of the table. But tries by
Nicky Griffiths and Nathan Hannay saw Jersey storm back into
contention, and with no more points for the home side, Moseley had
to settle for a 4:1 points split and a two-point advantage (17-15)
in the league table, which is propped up by Doncaster (13).

Both halves of the game defied the conventional wisdom among
locals that the slope at Billesley Common was worth 10-12 points to
the team playing down it, especially with a stiff diagonal breeze
also blowing down the ground. In fact the hosts claimed the
half-time honours 13-6 after playing up the hill, while Jersey
outscored their opponents 13-10 thereafter.

Jersey's scrum again dominated, although not to the extent that
the home side's possession from scrums was disrupted. But on their
own ball, the Jersey pack held the upper hand against a front row
containing former Player-Coach Ben Evans.

The first scrum brought a chance for Mike Le Bourgeois to kick
at goal from a penalty, which he took, only for Glyn Hughes to
reduce the arrears four minutes later. There was a gasp among home
fans when Le Bourgeois opted to kick for goal from inside his own
half soon afterwards, and another - of relief - as the ball dipped
just below the bar. 'Booj' showed he had the distance with a
better-struck effort soon afterwards, but this time the ball went
wide, however after half an hour he was successful and the lead was
restored (3-6).

The closest Jersey came to a try in the first half was when
Nicky Griffiths and Glenn Bryce combined for a charge close to the
line. Quick ball was recycled and fed to Jon Brennan on the charge.
The prop they call 'Bear' would have been hard to stop from 5-6
metres out, but sadly he couldn't grasp the ball in his eager paws
and the chance went begging.

Charlie Hayter was the thorn in Jersey's side in Moseley's 12-31
win in the Channel Islands in September, and he scored again here
courtesy of a neat Hughes' shimmy through Jersey's midfield and a
scoring pass. Hayter still had plenty to do from around 25 metres
out, and was brought down short of the line by a cover tackle by
the pacy Griffiths, but he was able to use his momentum to wriggle
over the line.

Dave Markham was a conspicuous presence for Jersey throughout
the game, showing some good distribution skills from scrum-half on
occasions when Griffiths was trapped in rucks and mauls, as well as
a solid contribution up front, but the second row blotted his
copybook when he brought down a Moseley maul five minutes before
the break. A yellow card ensued, and Moseley opted for another go
with their potent catch-and-drive weapon, Stefan Thorp bursting
clear from the maul and charging over.

Jersey survived at 13-6 until Markham's return five minutes into
the second period, and soon reduced the arrears when Le Bourgeois
stroked over another scrum-related penalty. Soon afterwards Evans'
head was forced up and out of another scrum, but the decision went
in Moseley's favour, and the hosts moved down the field, won a
lineout close to Jersey's line, and Ben Pienaar rumbled over from
the maul, Hughes adding a tricky conversion.

Tom Cooper came on for Jersey for only his third league
appearance having been out-of-action for four months with a series
of injuries, and soon made an impact. Dai Bishop and Le Bourgeois
gave him an opportunity on the right wing and Cooper burst forward.
Anthony Carter made the tackle but Cooper was able to reach behind
the defender and pop the ball to the supporting Griffiths.

 Just three minutes later a charge-down, one of several
suffered by home kickers, enabled a Jersey player (looked like Le
Bourgeois #) to collect the ball. From a distance it seemed he
could have scored himself, but in the event the ball was popped to
Hannay to complete the job. Unfortunately Le Bourgeois missed both
conversions in the capricious wind, the first on the right from the
15-metre line, and the second from close to the left touchline.
Booj finished the game at full-back after another player - Ross
Broadfoot - returned from long-term injury to take the place of
Bryce.

Moseley had been guilty of failing to look after the ball since
scoring their third try, but the narrowing of the gap focused their
minds on the importance of victory, which would potentially be
their first in the league in six attempts this season. Now they
were able to regain some control, dominating possession and winning
two late penalties. Hughes kicked the first just wide of the posts
and then fired the second gleefully sideways into the stand to end
the contest.

The two sides will now return to the British & Irish Cup,
with the final two rounds of league matches scheduled for the next
fortnight. Jersey, out of contention in pool 5, host Leeds Carnegie
on Saturday (4pm KO) while Mose - who are top of their group -
could qualify for the quarter finals with a home win over London
Scottish on Friday. The Scots' priority looks to be league
survival, and they made an important step in this direction on
Saturday with a hard-fought 26-23 win over Bedford.

correction: # in the fading light it looked like Le
Bourgeois, but in fact it was  Hannay, with Markham picking up
the loose ball and feeding his skipper for the score.

The Championship resumes on the weekend of January 25-27 with
the following fixtures between the sides in the bottom half of the
table:

Friday: Doncaster (13pts) v London Scottish (22)
Saturday: Jersey (15) v Rotherham (27); Plymouth (24) v
Moseley (17)

Jersey squad, sponsored by Locate Jersey and
jersey.com

1 Sean McCarthy (rep Richard Barrington)
2 Dave Felton (rep Charlie Clare)
3 Jon Brennan
4 Nathan Hannay (capt)
5 Dave Markham
6 Graham Bell
7 Kingsley Lang
8 Guy Thompson

9 Nicky Griffiths
10 Mike Le Bourgeois
11 Ed Dawson
12 Dai Bishop
13 Max Stelling (rep Tom Cooper)
14 James Copsey
15 Glenn Bryce (rep Ross Broadfoot)

Replacements (not used)
18 James Gethings
19 Rob Anderson
20 Brendan O'Brien

Scorers:

Moseley
Tries: Hayter 28, Thorp 35, Pienaar 62
Conversion: Hughes 62
Penalties: Hughes 7,58

Jersey
Tries: Griffiths 67, Hannay 70
Penalties: Le Bourgeois 3, 25, 50

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Attendance: 1,001 (Moseley's second-largest of
2012/13)
Penalties conceded: Moseley 8 Jersey 12

/*ends*/

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