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Match report: Burntwood RUFC 5 Moseley Oak RUFC 39

Burntwood RUFC slipped further behind the pack after this disappointing result at home to Moseley Oak.

They had defeated the Birmingham side with a late try back in October but there was no doubt about which was the better side here as the visitors moved into the top half of the table.

For much of the first half it looked as though the hosts would get something out of the game but a converted try right on the half time whistle took Moseley up to 13-0 and they went on to dominate the second period with four more tries.

Things began ominously for Burntwood right at the start when no-one reacted to the kick off which gave the visitors good field position. They went in front with a well-struck penalty goal after eight minutes.

Burntwood responded by taking a Moseley put in at a scrum and then winning a series of penalties to take play into the visitors’ half. However, a succession of crooked throws into line outs meant that they couldn’t establish any momentum.

This sterile period of play, with Moseley frequently guilty of slowing down possession at the breakdown, was broken in the last ten minutes of the half. Pick and drives by the Moseley pack threatened the home line. When they moved the ball wide it was knocked on.

However, Burntwood were penalised for early engagement at the scrum. Craig Seedhouse did well to stop a run by the Moseley inside centre but from another scrum Burntwood infringed again and the penalty was converted for 6-0.

The hosts hit back with a burst by Matt Wood to take play over halfway. A penalty award was kicked to the corner by Ben Holt but when the backs were given possession they fumbled it.

This proved even more costly when Moseley scored with the last play of the half. Their forwards set the ball up well and a pass back inside sent their quick centre on the run. He was half tackled by Seedhouse but he managed to get back to his feet and over the line for a converted try.

The same centre featured in the visitors’ next try five minutes into the second period. He burst through a gap to set up a two-on-one and unselfishly fed his full back for the try.

The Moseley side were now full of confidence and went further ahead seven minutes later. Ian Jones’ clearance kick was kept in play to set up a series of quick forward drives down the left touchline for a try in the corner which was also converted.

Burntwood were finally stirred into action to take play into the Moseley half. Jones and Lloyd Shelley linked well to begin with but possession was eventually turned over and the Moseley winger ran three quarters of the length of the pitch for another converted try.

At 32 points down and only pride to play for, the home side did well to deny any further scores, Seedhouse in particular putting in a try-saving tackle at one point.

Then, with the game entering stoppage time, a sustained Burntwood attack ended with winger Luke Briggs scoring in the clubhouse corner, having been denied moments earlier by putting a foot in touch.

Even then Moseley had the last word. As Burntwood tried to add to their score by running the restart kick out of defence, a pass was intercepted and run in for a converted try from 20 metres to conclude the match.

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