Moseley captain Neil Mason hailed his team's new-found defensive strength and identified the link with Gloucester as key to their improvement.

While Mose benefited by fielding four play-ers from the Premiership outfit in Sunday's 28-21 National League One victory over Nottingham, Mason believes the infusion of top-flight talent was not the only reason for the win.

Each of the quartet made a significant impact on proceedings, especially wing Mark Foster who scored two well-taken tries, but the skipper maintains it is work off the park, as much as the players on it, that helped them through when things got tough at Meadow Lane.

Which they were at one stage, as the visitors protected a narrow 21-18 lead but had been reduced to 14 men after Mark Evans was yellow-carded for pulling down a maul.

At that point, after an hour, Moseley were chained to their own line and had to defend a sequence of driven mauls and scrums with an under-manned pack. They eventually relieved ten minutes of pressure when the hosts ran out of ideas and knocked on.

It was a crucial defensive stand and a minute later they scored the try, Foster's second, that ensured they started their league campaign with a win.

Mason said: "The recruitment we have made this year has been fantastic and the link-up is working really well. Everyone was a bit sceptical at first, but it is helping us.

"Training with Gloucester brings me back to where I used to be with Worcester - that level of intensity. It can only be positive because we are training at a level we aspire to play at and that really helps especially defensively.

"That showed against Nottingham who, if you believe the press, are supposed to have one of the best packs in the division.

"After what we did to them, I think we could say we are going to have one of the best in the league. The way that we kept them out in the second half, especially with only seven forwards against a team that had already scored one catch-and-drive try, was a brilliant achievement.

"Everyone had the passion and we believe in ourselves a bit more; the boys that have been there from the start have shown that they are able to play at this level."

Coach Ian Smith claimed it was the sort of effort that demonstrated how far his team have come, saying: "Last season, that sort of thing would have been beyond us. We were aware that it would be a difficult year and we have learned lessons from that. Although we made a few mistakes, there are always going to be errors in the first game, particularly among a group of people that is not used to winning many games."

The afternoon was not entirely positive for Moseley, however. They lost James Rodwell with suspected knee ligament damage midway through the first half.

They will find out later today the extent of the No 8's problem and for how long he will be out. Evans, Rodwell's replacement last weekend, is expected to start against Pertemps Bees this Saturday.