Rugby Championship: Doncaster 16 Moseley 23
Despite Moseley fly-half Brad Davies’ fine tactical display, and perfect five-from-five return from the kicking tee, it was his predecessor, Tristan Roberts, who was the centre of attention at Castle Park.
When Roberts allowed visiting No.8 Chevvy Pennycook to charge down his routine clearance kick midway through the first half, Neil Mason’s resulting converted try gave his former team-mates an eight-point cushion that was never relinquished.
Errors of this type occurred all too frequently during Roberts’ two years as a dual-registered Moseley-Gloucester play-maker. Sadly, for a player who possesses a sublime range of passing and kicking skills, and the ability to turn a match with a single flash of genius, the inconsistency blighted his home league debut for his new club.
Mason’s try built on an early catch-and-drive advantage provided by flanker Ben Pons, and with Davies adding two conversions to a well-struck penalty, Moseley held a 17-6 interval advantage.
Home winger Matty Williams scorched in for his third try in two games shortly before the hour, and although Roberts added a touchline conversion to his three earlier penalties, a third penalty from Davies was required to ease Red and Black nerves.
Commenting on Roberts’ display, Moseley head coach Ian Smith said: “We’re fully aware of what Tristan’s capabilities are; on his day he can be a fantastic player, but he is also prone to making mistakes, and today I thought he was average.
“I was really pleased with the character we showed, which was essential after the Esher game last week. Today was a massive improvement.”
DONCASTER: McColl, Flockhart, Devlin, Gidlow, Williams Roberts, Jowes, Thiede, Lawrie, Cusack, Challenger, Craig Makaafi, Cochrane, Jackson. Replacements: Boden, Frazer, Kenworthy, Farivarz, Hallam Lewis-Pratt, Gates.
MOSELEY: Bressington, J Pons, MacBurnie, Reay, Styles, B Davis, Taylor, Voisey, Caves, Sigley, Lyons, Stott, N Mason, B Pons, Pennycook. Replacements: N Williams, Lewis, Spivey, Evans, De La Harpe M Gillick, Maggs.