Moseley (8) vs Rotherham Titans (36) - Championship
Titans make five changes for Moseley
Rotherham Titans Head Coach Andre Bester has made five changes to the side that impressively beat London Welsh 33-25 inthe capital last week. This week Titans face another road trip, when they travel to Billesley Common for the tricky challenge Moseley will undoubtedly present, kick off 3pm Saturday.
The one change in the back line sees Cliffie Hodgson come in for Stephen Hamilton at full back. Up front Bester has changed both props; at loose head Jamie Kilbane replaces Shane Cahill and at tight head Rob O’Donnell comes in for Ben Hooper. In the second row Barney Maddison replaces Neale Patrick and club captain Sam Dickinson returns to the starting line up, he gives the in form Semisi Taulava a break at number 8.
Moseley are coached by two ex Titans in Head Coach Kevin Maggs and his assistant Craig West. Both served theClifton Laneclub admirably during their spell and were both big hits with the supporters. Moseley’s playing staff comprises of five ex Titans in Anthony Carter, Brad Hunt, Anton O’Donnell, Colin Quigley and Craig Voisey all of whom will be trying to ‘put one over’ their old club.
The two sides have met each other on 25 previous occasions in all competitions, withRotherhamholding a healthy 17-8 advantage. Rotherham’s biggest win over Moseley came in the 2002/03 season when a 17 try demolition at Millmoor saw the Titans run out 102-3 winners.
Andre Bester knows Saturday visit to Moseley will present his side with a stiff challenge, he said,” We have respect for Moseley and we won’t be making too many changes, however it’s a squad game and we saw last week at London Welsh how well the players that came in did. There is a certain amount of rotation but we are very respectful of Moseley, they showed againstLeedsthat they can play rugby and can control matches. They’ve got a lot to prove and they are on their own patch and I expect them to provide us with a difficult challenge.
“Last year they gave us a fair and square hiding down there 9-5 and it was an upsetting result, I felt we played particularly bad in that game. We have a lot to prove going to Moseley!
“We are targeting the Moseley game like we target every game and if you don’t turn up and earn the result, you don’t get it. We’ve worked very hard this week as we always do and we know we have a tough task ahead of us. In the past 18 months we’ve had an apprehension about away matches, but in the last few weeks that has disappeared.
“Moseley are a better side than they were last season and they’ll have a little more self belief after pushingLeedsso close last week. They will be really up for this match given the history between the clubs in terms of coaches and players.
“Moseley have an abrasive pack, a good back line, there are very experienced in certain areas of the pitch and they are on their own patch and are proving a very difficult side to beat. If we don’t apply ourselves properly, then we are going to be in trouble.
“But we are going to Moseley with the intention of winning the match, not damage limitation like we have on previous occasions; we’re going there to win. Likewise Moseley will have the same mindset, they will be planning the same and they will believe they can win also. There’s a lot of respect between the clubs, but when the whistle goes that all goes out of the window and our application is going to be all important."
RotherhamTitans: 15 Cliffie Hodgson, 14 Tom Foden, 13 Shane Monahan, 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Ed Tellwright, 10 Garry Law, 9 Jimmy Williams, 1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Rob O’Donnell, 4 Barney Maddison 5 Adrian Griffiths, 6 Robin Copeland, 7 Sean Dougall, 8 Sam Dickinson (Capt.).
Replacements From: 16 Dan Baines, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Ben Hooper, 19 Ross Noonan, 20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Matt Rhodes, 22 Steve Hamilton, 23 Elliot Brierley, 24 Ben Harris.
Titans pick up bonus on windy Common
Rotherham Titans produced a professional performance to collect maximum points against an abrasive Moseley side at blustery Billesley Common.
A number of Titans players had suffered with a virus in the build up and as a result caused head coach Andre Bester a real headache over team selection. However, the players that came in were outstanding and contributed greatly to Rotherham’s success.
Playing with the wind and slope in the first half Rotherham took time to find their stride and midway through there was little to choose between the sides, Cliffie Hodgson’s penalty in the 3rd minutes was cancelled out by Brad Davies’s effort 6 minutes later.
However in a 15 minute spell leading up to half time the match took a dramatic turn with Rotherham scoring four tries!
Rotherham’s first try came from a line out30 metresfrom goal; the ball was collected by the impressive Carl Kirwan who fed Cliffie Hodgson. Hodgson broke the line and made a good 20 metres before making a skilful reverse pass inside for the onrushing Monahan to gallop over the whitewash. Hodgson who kicked well all afternoon missed the tricky conversion.
Three minutes later and again Kirwan was in the thick of the action.Rotherhamturned Moseley over on halfway and the ball arrived with the open side flanker, off he raced through and around the cover defence. As he was tackled just short of the line he off loaded to Tellwright who had the easiest of dib downs for Hodgson to convert.
Now Rotherham were in total ascendancy and could have had another try five minutes later, unfortunately Dan Baines knocked on and the opportunity was lost. Soon after however Rotherham’s third try arrived after some good forward pressure. Matt Rhodes broke and fed Tom Foden who joined the line well at speed; Foden’s impetus carried him30 metresbefore cutting back inside the full back to score near the posts for Hodgson to convert.
The bonus point try came forRotherhamjust 2 minutes later after Moseley fumbled possession. Barney Maddison collected around 35 metresout and raced down the left flank, as the tackle came in he offloaded to Carl Kirwan who was on hand to score his first try in the Championship. Hodgson converted from near the touch line to give the visitors a 29-3 lead at the break.
The expected Moseley second half onslaught with the slope and strong wind in their favour didn’t transform itself into the points Moseley needed. Moseley did however have their moments but a resilient Titans defence kept the hosts at bay on several occasions. An Ed Tellwright last ditch tackle on William Robinson just 3 minutes into the 2nd half was probably important.
It was equally important when Rotherham managed to hold the hosts up over the try line on 57 minutes and two minutes later when Moseley knocked on when actually over the line. But as the half wore onRotherhamcoped and began to make breaks up field themselves through Griffiths and Foden.
On 80 minutes Titans skipper Semisi Taulava received a yellow card for killing the ball. From the penalty Moseley manufactured a catch and drive move which culminated with Drew Harper touching down near the corner for an unconverted try and the first points of the second half.
However Rotherham had the last say with the final move of the match. From a scrum close to the host’s line the ball arrived with Kirwan who quickly sniffed the opportunity and crashed through to touch down. Hodgson made the tricky conversion to wrap things up and send the travelling Titans faithful home happy.
Post game a contented Andre Bester commented, “We’ve had a virus in camp this week and it was very disrupting for us. We only finalised the team when the team sheet had to go in just before the match. We had to reshuffle the back line, Cliffie went to ten and Tom went to full back and Elliott came into the centre.
“My hand was forced today with the injuries and I had to give some of the younger guys a chance; guys like Carl Kirwan and Elliott Brierley and they showed that they can take those opportunities. I don’t think any of our young players look out of place in the Championship.
“I thought we were clinical today, I didn’t think we were great in the first half but I thought we were clinical and we took our opportunities when they came our way. We made hard work for ourselves in the first half, after 25 minutes it was still 3 all, and then in the last 15 minutes we took the brake off.
“I thought we didn’t get the possession with the wind that I thought we should have got and it made it difficult for us to do any attacking. I thought Moseley played fairly well in the first 25 minutes or so of the first half, they are an abrasive team and are physical up front, but I have to take my hat off to our boys I thought they worked very hard. But the last 10 minutes of the half we were clinical and whenever we got the ball on the break we did very well.
“The second half performance; we just said we’ve already got what we came here for so there’s no need to do anything silly, we just need to kill it.
“We did make a few errors and we probably didn’t trust ourselves as much as I would have liked and we gave a few penalties away and that allowed pressure to come on to us. But our defence was outstanding and everything is about next week now andBristol. This was good preparation for the Bristol match.”
Referee: James Matthew
RotherhamScorers: Kirwan (2T), Foden (T), Monahan (T), Tellwright (T), Hodgson (P,4C).
Moseley Scorers: Harper (T), Davies (P).
Yellow cards: Taulava
RotherhamTitans: 15 Tom Foden, 14 Ed Tellwright, 13 Elliot Brierley, 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Clifford Hodgson, 9 Matt Rhodes, 1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Rob O’Donnell, 4 Barney Maddison 5 Adrian Griffiths, 6 Robin Copeland, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Semisi Taulava (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Ted Stagg, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Ben Hooper, 19 Ross Noonan, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Jimmy Williams, 22 Garry Law.
Moseley: 15 Anthony Carter, 14 William Robinson, 13 Greg King, 12 Andy Reay (Capt.), 11 Michael Gillick, 10 Brad Davies, 9 Sam Brown, 1 Tom Warren, 2AdamCaves, 3 Colin Quigley, 4 David Lyons, 5 Richard Stott, 6 Neil Mason, 7 Michael Maltman, 8 Chevvy Pennycook.
Replacements: 16 Anthony O'Donnell, 17 Paul Spivey, 18 Marshall Gadd, 19 Charley Thomas, 20 Drew Harper, 21 Ryan De La Harpe, 22 Callum Macburnie.