Birmingham Moseley 10 v Cambridge 45
By David Lawrence – Birmingham Mail
Moseley’s previously perfect home record lies in tatters after they shipped six tries against a rampant Cambridge outfit. An early try from hooker Will Biggs and penalty and conversion by Cliffie Hodgson eased the Red and Blacks into a ten-point lead but from then on it was one-way traffic as the home side were made to pay for a string of unforced errors.
It was this hapless handling that not only had director of rugby Adam Balding scratching his head, but also frustrated flying flanker Morgan Dawes – one of the few to come out of the game with any credit.
“We didn’t have the rub of the green and had a few handling errors,” he admitted. “It demoralises the boys and then they (Cambridge) get a kick or a good line-break to put us back in our own half and we’re fighting against it. “It’s really down to our own errors. We played well for the beginning of the first half but then, come the last 20 minutes of the half, we fell away.”
After coasting into that early lead, Moseley had prop James Tideswell yellow-carded and duly conceded three tries before the break – a penalty try and breaks from winger James Martin and full-back Joe Tarrant.
he second half was just as dismal for the hosts, whose only chance of bagging a second score appeared to be in the hands of Dawes as he threatened to charge through the Cambridge defence.
o add to their woes, Moseley finished the game with 14 men following a late sin-binning for replacement scrum-half Jack Jolly and Balding knows they will have to do better than that against National One high-fliers Blackheath next weekend.
He said: “We’ve got a big game next week. Blackheath are going to be tough. I know them very well from playing against them and it’s always a tough game.
“We can not make any excuses, we just were not good enough. Both Michael Stephens and Morgan Dawes really fronted up – beyond that I am struggling. We simply weren’t at the races. “At some point the talking has to stop and the doing has to start and we will get that from everyone moving forward.”
MOSELEY: Palmer, Smith, Tonks, Joyce, Davetanivalu, Hodgson, Arr; Titchard-Jones, Biggs, Tideswell, Spink, Wright, Crofts, Dawes, Stephens. Reps: Dimen, Foreman, Lawrence, Jolly, Roach.
CAMBRIDGE: Tarrant, Martin, Hema, Brown, Henderson, Penfold, Duffin; Meek, Mayhew, Peck, Conquest, Baxter, Bretag-Norris, Adams, McCloud. Reps: Rayment, Langley, Dawson, Creighton, Green.
Bishops Stortford 30 v Rotherham 14
BY JOHN ALLANSON, Bishops Stortford
Stortford gain a vital win against Rotherham, steadily working their way into some convincing form after a faltering first half.
As usual, Stortford looked to play expansive rugby but, despite enjoying the majority of possession, were unable to break down a stubborn Rotherham defence. It took 21 minutes for the first score to come and it duly went the home team’s way, after a good drive by the forwards, with James Apperley to the fore forced a penalty under the visitors’ posts. Brad Burr made no mistake from the kicking tee and his team continued to press, but Rotherham were aggressive in defence and Stortford were lured into making a number of careless passes. The visitors showed little ambition in attacking terms and, predictably, their first scoring chance came from a bad mistake in Stortford’s midfield, which saw the ball bouncing loose behind the home backline. A Rotherham centre was quick to seize on the ball, sprinting clear and was hauled down only by a tackle from behind by James Ayrton. Support arrived quickly, though and in numbers and, despite another tremendous last-ditch tackle by Tom Banks, two more quick phases saw second row, Elliott Ward over for a try close to the posts, which flyhalf, Morgan Bunting converted, as time was running out in the first half. There was time enough for Stortford to win another penalty from the restart, but Burr’s attempt at goal fell short, as his standing foot slipped.
Rotherham showed new ambition from the restart and caught Stortford’s defence flat-footed, finding it all too easy to register their second try within 2 minutes through No 8, Anthony Maka, after a powerful driving maul from a lineout inside Stortford’s 22. Bunting again added the conversion and things were starting to look ominous for the home side. Showing characteristic determination and grit, though, the Stortford side hurled itself back onto the front foot, posing new threats with James Ayrton now operating at 10. Rotherham nevertheless held out for 10 minutes, until the tireless Sam Winter finally made a clean break inside Rotherham’s half and found Nick Hankin supporting inside to run over for a try under the posts. Banks added the extras and narrowed the deficit to a single point 4 minutes later, when further home pressure forced a penalty under the visitors’ posts. The Rotherham defence was now starting to wilt and their cause was not helped, when winger, Dan Leake was yellow carded 6 minutes later for a cynical intervention from an offside position inside his own 22. The home side quickly took advantage, with debutant second row, James Thacker getting his just desserts after an impressive match with a try close to the posts with the last of several powerful forward drives at the line. Banks converted and added another 3 points 4 minutes later, when Rotherham were penalised for playing the scrumhalf at the back of a ruck, stretching Stortford’s lead to 9 points. The home team’s tails were now up and they pressed forward, determined to close the game out. The visitors managed to mount a single counter attack after a Stortford handling error, but the ball was soon turned over and Rob Duff embarked on a great 50 metre run from well inside his own half to be hauled down close to Rotherham’s line. A breakdown penalty was won and kicked to touch and a good driving maul was launched from the lineout. This was halted short of the line, only for Thacker to burst off the back and plunge over for his second try to round off his man of the match performance. Banks converted off the crossbar from close to touch to round off what was a hard-fought but, in the end, a convincing win.
Blackheath 13 v Cinderford 27
by Graham Cox, Blackheath
Having already achieved the notable scalp of league-leaders Richmond, Cinderford now have another impressive away victory to take back to the Forest of Dean, with this clinical and deserved win over third-place Blackheath.
Despite enjoying a majority of the possession and territory throughout the match, Blackheath failed to make the inroads against an organised, well-drilled defence, while Cinderford executed their few opportunities, punishing the hosts’ errors with ruthless efficiency.
Blackheath started the game at pace, the back three constantly looking to break from deep, and using the quick throw-in to keep up the tempo. The first play saw them go through numerous phases before Cinderford turned over possession, setting a pattern for the remainder of the contest, but on nine minutes a penalty to touch saw Mike Perks drive across for the opening score to give Blackheath a 5-0 advantage.
George Barton missed with an early penalty as Blackheath fell off-side, the Cinderford fly-half’s only blemish in an otherwise excellent performance, but as the Club infringed again, the ball found its way to touch and second-row Tyler Jerrum touched down under the uprights as the visitors drove infield.
Mark Cooke struck a penalty to briefly retake the lead for Blackheath, but hooker Joe Mullis crossed for Cinderford’s second try on 37 minutes as the Gloucestershire side again gained field position, and with Barton adding three points to his two successful conversions on the stroke of half-time, the visitors led 17-8 at the break.
Blackheath maintained good continuity of possession in the second period, but it made little impression in the opposition twenty-two, and with full-back Ed Sheldon and Barton reliable under the high ball the Cinderford defence remained solid.
Instead, a collapsed maul allowed Barton to extend the advantage by a further three on 68 minutes, and moments later the result was as good as sealed, the Cinderford fly-half’s lovely break putting outside-centre Terrence Barbarinsa down the left flank for a converted score.
Too little, too late, the Cinderford defence was finally breached and Tom Stradwick emerged from a pile of bodies to claim a last-ditch try for Blackheath, but it was little more than consolation.
Next Saturday Blackheath will look to get back on the winning track when they visit Birmingham side Moseley. Kick-off at Billesley Common is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Perks, Stradwick
Tries: Jerrum, Mullis, Barbarinsa
Conv: Barton 3
Pens: Barton 2
15 . Leo Fielding
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Alex Pickersgill
12 . Markus Burcham (Capt)
11 . Craig Dowsett
10 . Mark Cooke
9 . Stef Liebenburg
1 . Tom Williams
2 . Mike Perks
3 . Danny Herriott
4 . Jamie Ure
5 . Tom Stradwick
6 . Tom Baldwin
7 . Josh Poole
8 . Tom Burns
16 . Harry Fry
17 . Harry Seward
18 . James Catt
19 . Freddie Owen
20 . Ben Ransom
Chinnor 38 v Sale FC 31
BY JACK JOHNSON, Chinnor
Chinnor run in six tries, before holding on for bonus-point victory
CHINNOR made it three games unbeaten when seeing off Sale in an entertaining clash at Kingsey Road.
A pulsating National League 1 fixture was perfect for the neutrals, but it proved to be a nail-biter for the home faithful.
Chinnor produced their best rugby of the season to score six tries and lead 38-7 at half-time.
But Sale came roaring back to close to within a converted try with nine minutes to go, before the hosts dug in to record a bonus-point victory.
It means Chinnor have picked up 12 points in the last three weeks and have closed the gap to the four sides above.
The Thame-based club have reduced the deficit to second-placed Rosslyn Park, who beat leaders Richmond, to five points, while Blackheath and Rams – third and fourth respectively – both lost.
Director of rugby Matt Williams named an unchanged starting XV for the first time this season.
But there were two changes on the bench, with prop George Davis, dual-registered with Ealing Trailfinders, and scrum-half Callum Watson named among the replacements.
Chinnor made a brilliant start and had Sale retreating with their fine powerful breaks and expansive play.
Kieran Goss and Jason Worrall both broke through tackles early on and the home side were rewarded for their lively opening.
A scrum five metres out went rampaging towards the try-line and referee Daniel Collins awarded a penalty try.
Chinnor were looking impressive and did not let up.
Within 20 minutes they led by 19 unanswered points as hooker Nick Selway touched down from two driving lineouts. Laurence May converted the second try as Sale looked stunned.
The visitors looked to get on the scoreboard and Dan Birchall drove over, James Williams converting, as they made their first foray into the home side’s final third count.
But Chinnor continued to dominate and scored three more tries in the space of ten minutes.
Goss broke forward from full-back, sucked in a couple of tacklers, and fed No 8 Willie Ryan who sent scrum-half Jake Ashby scampering over out wide. May’s conversion attempt hit a post as Chinnor led 24-7.
The hosts were not finished and Goss stole a loose Sale pass, before winger Worrall made a fine break. Ashby then fed centre Chris Elder who had 20m of the pitch to run into and score. May added the extras.
It then became 38-7 at the break and Goss was involved again, this time setting up winger Josh Hodson, who beat one man to dive over, May converting.
Sale were always going to come out firing in the second half and quickly reduced the arrears within two minutes of the restart when James Williams converted his own try.
The visitors looked like a different team and unconverted scores from Jake Barron and Edward Leatherbarrow saw them close to within 14 points.
Suddenly the fixture had become tense, but the fact James Williams had been off the mark from the tee ensured Sale still needed two converted tries.
Chinnor had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed with 15 minutes to go following outside centre Pete Laverick’s superb break. But the hosts were unable to make the most of a two-on-one as Watson knocked on from an Elder pass.
The visitors were not finished and found themselves within a converted try with nine minutes to go when Jarad Williams dived over, James Williams converting.
But Chinnor defended well late on to see out an entertaining encounter and extend their unbeaten run.
Chinnor: Goss, Worrall, Laverick, Elder, Hodson, May, Ashby, Southworth, Selway, McNulty, Gray, Ehizode, Treviranus, Kirwan, W Ryan.
Replacements: Fidler, Davis, Manning, Watson, C Ryan.
Sale: Rawcliffe, Brady, Mulchrone, Leota, Ah Van, Williams, Bradley, Pope, Longmore, Talaese, Priestley-Nangle, Barron, Hughes, Leatherbarrow, Williams.
Replacements: Ford, Birchall, Dugdale, To’a, Quirke.
Darlington Mowden Park 49 v Plymouth Albion 22
BY TOM BULMER, Darlington Mowden Park
A fine performance by the team was only topped by an outstanding individual contribution from Falcons dual registered winger Morgan PASSMAN, who scored four tries on his debut, with all touchdowns possible contenders for NCA Try of Week 11.
Fixtures between the two clubs have historically been close affairs, but after the first half display (30 – 3), the result was never in doubt and it was just a case of how many tries and total points Mowden could score.
However, that would have been disrespectful to a Plymouth Albion side who never gave in, scoring three tries of their own for a haul of 22 points, which in these close National League One games, where any team can beat the other, is normally a decent tally away from home and would perhaps been enough for the win on another day.
With a side containing some decent height and ballast in the pack, Plymouth would normally try to control the game up front, but they do possess some pace and innovation in the backs, including replacement and ex-Mowden player Tom Putt, who looked to be back to injury free fitness when being called upon, as Mowden didn’t quite see the best of him during his short stay in the North East.
Having said that, Mowden were in no mood to arm wrestle Plymouth and showed fitness, pace and at times ingenuity to break down the visitors, on a cold, damp day at the Darlington Arena.
PASSMAN started the scoring after only seven minutes of play, delivering a blow to the visitors, showing a glimpse of the ‘after-burner’ speed which he undoubtedly possesses, reminiscent of current Newcastle Falcon Adam RADWAN, but with the extra physical capability and tenacity of back row forward, (5 – 0) SEALS converting. (7 – 0)
With home fly half Warren SEALS in imperious form with the boot these days, it later mattered not where the tries were scored, as his accuracy and successful strike rate has taken him to the top of the National League One points scored table.
Accordingly, SEALS slotted three penalties in quick succession to give Mowden a decent lead early doors. (16 – 0)
Mowden flanker STOKES was yellow carded and from the resulting penalty, Plymouth fly half Sam MORLEY scored the only points for the visitors in the first half.(16 – 3)
PASSMAN’s fellow winger Brandon ASHER-WOOD scored a good try next, converted by SEALS, (23 – 3) before PASSMAN added his second, converted by SEALS, for a resounding 30 – 3 lead at oranges.
As most of the decent crowd were resuming their seats for the second half, PASSMAN had scored his third and perhaps his best try. Plymouth kicked off reasonably deep, which was gathered well by the player, who set off on a remarkable run to the visitors’ try line, brushing off a couple of desperate defenders, before accelerating to score a fine try, (35 – 3) again converted by SEALS. (37 – 3)
However, to their credit, Plymouth never threw in the towel, scoring a decent try through No. 8 Daniel SWAIN, converted by MORLEY. (37 – 10)
PASSMAN scored his fourth and final try as the game entered the fourth quarter (42 – 10) and when replaced deservedly received great applause for his debut performance.
Plymouth winger SWAIN weighed in with another try (42 – 15), before home lock and crowd favourite Talite VAIOLETI, who had already been substituted, returned to crash over the try line, after SEALS and McKIRDY failed to reach the line with a Mowden break out, (47 – 15) SEALS converting. (49 – 15)
As the game entered the final minutes, SWAIN added his second and Plymouth’s third try, (49 – 20) converted by MORLEY. (49 – 22)
Rams 10 v Old Elthamians 23
Report from Rams website
Last beaten at Old Bath Road back in January, 2018, the hosts never got going in a scrappy game which saw Elthamians grab their bonus-point fourth try with the final play of the match.
And Reynolds admitted: “It was very stop-start and we took a bit of time to get into the contest. We didn’t start well enough in the first 15 minutes and then we came into the game, but there were errors from both teams.
“We were very slow to get going and we never really got going for the full 80 minutes.”
He continued: “At this level you cannot drop your standard for a second, you can’t drop one, two per cent or you lose the game. Elthamians are a really good side and we were a bit flat, we weren’t at our best and we got beaten by a better side.
“We haven’t lost at home for a long time so it hurts, but we’ll move on and get better for it.”
In a frenetic start to the contest, the visitors lost prop Austin Hay to injury but opened the scoring when hooker Nathan Morris went over in the corner, Ollie Bryant unable to add the extras.
Despite losing wing Henry Bird to an arm injury during that score, Rams hit back and moved in front when captain Robbie Stapley pounced on a loose ball and powered over, Will Partington converting to give his side a 7-5 lead at the interval.
However, OEs made a blistering start to the second half and regained the lead when full-back Louis Brown collected a perfectly weighted Bryant pass to dot down on the left.
A Partington penalty levelled matters, but the visitors took a decisive grip on the game when Ollie Claxton darted over as the game approached its final quarter and Marc Koteczky landed a penalty.
Rams tried to fightback, but their opponents shut the game down efficiently before Brown’s second score confirmed their bonus-point. Koteczky was unable to add the extras with the final kick of the game, but the away side were left to reflect on a job well done.
Despite the defeat, Rams remain fourth in the table, and Reynolds is happy with how they have adapted to life in the third tier of English rugby.
He commented: “We’re trying to find our feet at this level and we’ve been doing an extremely good job – I can’t fault the players for a single second. If you drop you’re level at all you’ll lose, and that’s what we’ve found at Bishop’s Stortford, Blackheath, Richmond and against Old Elthamians – the other sides take their opportunities.
“We would have taken seven wins from 11 games. The disappointment with this defeat is the surprise with how well we’ve been competing at this level, and in the games we’ve lost we’ve been in the game. But the guys want to get better.”
He continued: “We’re enjoying it and that’s the main thing. We have a good squad who are very together, they’re good mates who work hard for each other and we’ve got good young players coming through. We’ve got good depth and after 11 games we’re in a healthy position, but we’ve got to kick on.”
Rams will have the chance to bounce back when they visit basement side Canterbury next Saturday, but the Director of Rugby warned: “Canterbury are a good side. They’ve had a tough start to the season, but we were in a real battle with them last season and they deserved their promotion. It’s going to be a very tough game.”
Rams 10 Old Elthamians 23
Tries: R Stapley 33
Conversions: Partington 34
Yellow Cards: Moates 56, Collis 78.
Tries: Morris 14, Brown 41, 80, Claxton 58
Penalty: Koteczky 69
Yellow Cards: Morris 31
Half Time: 7-5
Star Man: Louis Brown (Old Elthamians)
Referee: Charles Gayther
Rams: Partington, Bird (Seers 15), Leicester, Hayhow, Corrigan, Humberstone, Moates (Guttridge 60); Kidd,Henderson (Hayman 69), Zeiss (McDonnell-Roberts 52), Taylor (Collis 67), C Stapley, Guttridge (Sparkes 60), Vooght, R Stapley
Old Elthamians: Brown, Goble, Koteczky, Eastwell, Perkins (Self 33, Perkins 42), Bryant (Landray 45, Claxton 55), Claxton (Morgan 55); Holenstein, Morris, Hay (Concu 11), Flashman, Parker, Saunders, Barton (Batt 29), Kovacic.
Richmond 13 v Rosslyn Park 18
By Tim Forrester, Richmond
Richmond suffered their second defeat of the 2019/20 season, falling to 13-18 defeat to local rivals Rosslyn Park.
Despite a late Richmond rally, second placed Rosslyn Park deservedly claimed the honours against table toppers Richmond in front of an impressive crowd of 1,495.
With league points vital, Richmond will take comfort from claiming a losing point and denying Rosslyn Park a fourth try. Richmond remain top of the table, four points clear of Park with Blackheath losing ground in third place.
On a rare dry day, Park started much the stronger and were 0-10 up after just 17 minutes. The damage was done at the lineout, where the experienced Sam Twomey and Gregor Gillanders totally dominated first half possession. The loss of their own ball at the first lineout clearly unnerved Richmond and enabled Park to start with their tails up. The tricky Craig Holland made an early weaving break to provide his side with further encouragement.
The first try came after eight minutes. Richmond were penalised at the breakdown and Park worked their way up the touchline. When they secured good lineout ball from Hugo Ellis, Holland threaded a well-judged grubber towards the corner. With the weight of the kick providing few options, the covering Rob Kirby was forced into touch. From the lineout, the Park pack drove forward, swivelling to get the momentum after being initially held. Hugo Ellis got the touchdown but the conversion was wide.
With two more of their own lineouts going wrong, Richmond remained on the back foot. Conversely Park secured quality ball and another neat kick ahead forced Dan Kelly into touching down for a five metre scrum. When Ellis was firmly stopped by the ever abrasive Toby Saysell, Holland tried a kick to the corner. Once again, the kick was beautifully judged and the oncoming Nick Scott had a relatively straightforward chance to out-jump Kirby and touch down in the corner.
With everything having gone right in the first quarter, Park missed touch with a penalty and Kirby provided a monster riposte to get his side close to the 22. However, Park managed to spoil the lineout. Richmond’s day got worse as David Banfield had to be replaced and a Dennett penalty was athletically knocked back and kept in play.
However, bit by bit, Richmond now dragged themselves back into the game, Kelly beating his man to make good ground and Richmond following up with a sequence of phases. Richmond just about claimed the honours at the set scrum and when a free kick was awarded against Park, a fired up Jesses Liston tapped and ran straight. Park were penalised in defence and Kirby reduced the lead to seven points. Given the lack of possession, Richmond would have happily taken this as the half-time score but a high tackle half way out on the home ten metre line, gave Holland an ambitious penalty kick and he nailed it.
Richmond had clearly reviewed their lineout organisation at half-time but Max Crawford was penalised as he contested the first throw of the half. However, Holland missed a fairly straightforward kick. Two minutes later, Crawford did secure good lineout ball and Park were pinged for offside in the follow up. Kirby made no mistake. An exchange of kicks then followed and Park kicked straight out after taking the ball into the 22. Richmond had another chance and worked their way promisingly deeper into the 22. The next play was the decisive moment of the game as Park secured a turnover.
The ball was quickly switched left. Joe Munro was well tackled but managed to offload to Henry Cheeseman, who in turn took the tackle but got a pass out to Dave Lewis. From the stand, this pass looked undoubtedly forward but the officials were chasing back and the angle would have been less obvious. Lewis now kicked towards the try-line and fullback Henry Robinson just managed to beat the Richmond cover support to get the touchdown. Regardless of the pass, the ambition shown merited the try.
Park had another relatively simple penalty but Holland thumped the post. Richmond stuck to the task and created chances. Around the 60th minute, quick hands from the backs finally prised the Park defence open and the speeding Chris Allman found himself in space with two men outside him and one defender to beat. The pass was delayed too long. However, Richmond persisted and Tom Hodgson charged down Robinson’s clearance to get within a metre or two of the line. The forwards stayed patient and the deserving Liston, Richmond’s Player of the Match, got the try, converted by Kirby.
With fifteen minutes to go and Dave Lewis now yellow carded, Richmond could still have won the game. However sequences of aerial ping pong could not secure the territorial position needed. Both sides made mistakes as the tension rose. Park wanted the try bonus and had a five metre line out with two minutes to go. The Richmond pack firmly rebuffed the drive and Park finally had to settle for a net gain of three league points.
Director of Rugby Steve Hill said: “The players are extremely disappointed with today’s performance. We lacked accuracy and discipline. Park took their chances well and deserved the win. Us gaining a losing bonus point and holding them to three tries may end up being helpful but the loss hurts.”
Richmond will now look to bounce back strongly away against Sale FC on Saturday (KO 2pm).
Meanwhile, the Richmond Vikings continued their incredible start to the season, clinching a 35-10 victory of the Park 2nd XV, to remain unbeaten after ten matches.