NATIONAL ONE: MOSELEY 36 NEWBURY 9
Moseley made light work of lowly Newbury with No?8 James Rodwell leading the charge with a hat-trick of tries.
Had referee Terry Hall got to grips with the scrummaging more rapidly, then Moseley would have won by a much wider margin. Every scrum, especially in the first half, was preceded with a lengthy lecture from Hall which continually halted Moseley’s progress.
Newbury were given early encouragement when scrum half Ben Stevenson kicked them in front with a penalty.
The lead was short-lived as Moseley fly half Richard Vasey levelled with a penalty of his own.
Moseley then forced a series of close to the line scrummages.
After umpteen interruptions for infringements, referee Hall finally lost patience with Newbury and awarded a penalty try which Vasey duly converted.
At the same time he sent Newbury skipper Mark Lee to the sin-bin and Moseley were quick to make their numerical advantage tell.
A further set of scrummages resulted, with Newbury being shoved back over their own line to allow Rodwell the vital touch. Vasey’s conversion then put Moseley 17-3 in front at half-time.
Stevenson briefly cut the deficit with his second penalty early in the second half.
But by that stage, Moseley had already assumed command. They successfully wheeled another five-metre scrum, which afforded Rodwell his second try.
Then centre Henry Trinder chased an intelligent kick ahead by fellow Gloucester loanee Charlie Sharples to touch down in the corner.
Right from the resumption, the irrepressible Rodwell intercepted a Newbury three-quarter move on his own 22 and raced the rest of the pitch to complete a memorable hat-trick of tries despite the attentions of several defenders breathing down his neck.
It drew a standing ovation from Moseley’s seated supporters – who continued their applause when Vasey landed a tremendous touchline conversion.
The gulf between the two sides was considerable and promises an encouraging second half of the season for Moseley.
MOSELEY: Binns; Sharples, Trinder, Roberts, Bressington; Vasey, Taylor; Williams N, Caves, Davis; Arnold, Mulldowney; Mason, Evans, Rodwell. Replacements: Buxton, Oselton, Stott, Bignell, Williams D, Pasqualin, Thomas.
NEWBURY: Hylton; Henderson, Sweeney, Burns, Scott; Griffiths G, Stevenson; Catt, Clark, Ion; Griffiths A, Mockford; Lee, Bentall, Pennycook. Replacements: Green, Fincken, Ashcroft-Leigh, Noonan, Crane, Gasson, Gittins.
Referee: Terry Hall (RFU).