RFU Championship: Cornish Pirates 32 Moseley 17
For the third week running Moseley impressed against one of the Championship’s big hitters and for the third week running they went unrewarded.
Just as Bristol survived a 20-minute onslaught a fortnight ago and Bedford withstood a second-half fightback last weekend, so too Cornish Pirates overcame a late scare to deny Kevin Maggs’ side what could have been a seismic upset.
It was the latest piece added to the mountain of evidence that suggests Moseley have perfected the art of taking out of a game less than they put in.
And that is a habit they must kick as they go into a relegation play-offs against London Scottish, Plymouth and Esher.
To have done so with a victory in Penzance on their record would have been a massive boost and although the scoreline doesn’t say so, they nearly pulled it off.
Trailing 18-17 with eight minutes to go they had all the momentum and were deep in Pirates’ territory when they fluffed their lines.
Greg King ran out of support – Moseley’s chance was gone.
Then the hosts scored – from a forward pass – and then bagged a fourth try as Moseley chased the game.
Once again their head coach was left to wonder what might have been.
“I have had some lovely compliments from their coaching staff, they thought they were lucky to win that,” a rueful Maggs said.
“There were a lot of positives to come from that.
“The performance from the lads and the rugby we played – the Pirates admitted we played the best rugby out there.”
Maggs was also aggrieved that referee Ian Tempest had not given his side full value as he played the advantage after awarding them an attacking penalty.
And he also felt the official was lenient on Tom Cooper who hit King with a high tackle.
“It’s frustrating but we can take a lot of confidence from this game,’’ said Maggs.
“Defensively we were good, at times we played some fantastic stuff and scored some good tries. So to concede those two late ones in the last six minutes is a bit of a killer.”
With a free weekend before the start of the post-season Maggs will attempt to resuscitate his team and convince them that as long as they repeat their last three displays there should be nothing to fear but fear itself.
PIRATES: Cook; Daniel, Doherty D (Thomas C 29), Cooper, Evans; Penberthy, Cattle (Doherty J 51); Rimmer (Storer 66), Ward (Cowan-Dickie 66), Fairbrother (Brits 47), Myerscough (Burgess 71), Nimmo (Smith 56), Ewers, Morgan, Maidment.
MOSELEY: Thomas; Carter, King (Adams 77), Reay, Robinson; Davies, Brown (De La Harpe 60); Gadd (Quigley 74), Caves, Voisey (O’Donnell 77), Spivey, Sanderson (Lyons 52), Tyas (Maltman 60), Ellery (Pons 77), Pennycook.