National One: Rotherham Earth Titans 52 Moseley 3
Moseley's injury crisis took a turn for the worse in south Yorkshire with their entire front row picking up injuries that could force them out of next week's trip to Bedford.
A match with the promotion-chasing Titans is always a tough task, but the loss of Ben Buxton, Dean Bick and Neil Bayliss ensured it was a wretched day for the visitors as they shipped eight tries on their way to a morale-sapping defeat — their fifth consecutive setback.
Moseley headed north with an already depleted side but Rotherham's pack was far too strong and dictated events so much in the first half that the visitors were constantly on the defensive. It came as no surprise when the Titans bagged their four-try bonus point well before the break.
Moseley's only points came from a penalty by fly-half Ollie Thomas and, frankly, they rarely looked like penetrating Rotherham's line, although the Moseley pack competed with much more purpose in the second half.
Skipper and winger Daren O'Leary said a rousing half-time team talk had helped produce a more positive attitude, despite his side trailing 33-3.
"We said it was about showing some guts and determination," O'Leary said. "We then showed a far better account of what we are capable of.
"I was very proud of the effort from the boys but, looking back, you saw the difference between a full-time outfit and a part-time one. It's a bitter pill to swallow.
"We lost three players out of the front row. It's a very tough time for us now and it's all hands on deck."
As he struggles to put out a competitive squad to face Bedford and then Cornish Pirates a week on Saturday, head coach Ian Smith faces the toughest of battles and readily admitted that the odds of defeating the Titans were very much against them, even before the kick-off.
"With all the horrendous injuries, it was always going to be difficult against a powerful team," he said.
"In some respects, we did well to get a team on the pitch. We paid them too much respect in the first half and they took what was on offer. We did make it more difficult for them in the second half."
But Rotherham still managed to add to their tally, running in three more tries after the break, two of them coming from replacement scrum-half Joe Bedford who cashed in on opportunities created by his forwards who set up dangerous positions on Moseley's line.
Rotherham's scoring spree was helped throughout by accurate goal-kicking from fly-half Gareth Steenson, who added to Moseley's problems by converting six of the eight tries.
Moseley never recovered from the blitz they suffered in the opening 32 minutes, during which Rotherham smashed their defence to score four converted tries.
Considering the mud and the wet, both sides handled the ball pretty well, but Moseley struggled against a superior set of forwards and the losses of Bick, Bayliss and Buxton were setbacks that could not be overcome.
ROTHERHAM: Burke; Tuohy (Bedford, 66), Allen, Hennessey, Claassens; Steenson, Blackwood; Walsh, Hanna, Croall, Lund, McGowan, Fourie, Jacobsz, McComish.
MOSELEY: Lennard; O'Leary, Cox, Buckley, Gray; Thomas, Knight; Buxton, (Skelding, 50), Bick (Lea, 33), Bayliss (Coles, 40), Hadley, Stott, Lightowler, McIntosh (Warren, 17), Evans.