Moseley 23 Bristol Rugby 14: Bristol throw away 14-point lead as Moseley woe continues
BRISTOL inexplicably let a 14-point lead slip and saw their Championship play-off hopes suffer a major setback as their winless record at Billesley Common continued.
Bristol missed their opportunity to leapfrog Leeds and jump back into the top four as they lost their game in hand on the side in fourth place, without even taking a bonus point.
Bristol have now lost back-to-back games since producing arguably their finest performance of the season at Bedford a fortnight ago – and they have just four matches remaining, including a final-day trip to Newcastle, in which to secure their place in the play-offs.
Their defeat last night condemned them to a second loss this season against tenth-placed Moseley, whose coaches – former Bristol pair Kevin Maggs and Dave Hilton – were understandably overjoyed with the result.
Enjoy one free child admission with a full paying adult ticket.
Terms: Not to be used in conjunction with any discounted ticket or special ticket offer. No cash alternative. Excludes Bank Holidays and Bank Holiday Weekends. Ref: This is Bristol Website Voucher
Contact: 01963 400330
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Just as they had done at the Memorial Stadium in September, Moseley fought back from a heavy deficit to beat Bristol. They had trailed 21-5 at the Memorial Stadium, before stunning their hosts in the final few minutes.
Bristol led 14-7 at half-time after making a positive start. They took a 14-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes and enjoyed almost complete control of possession in the opening 25.
After Ryan Edwards and Ross Johnston had gone over, Luke Eves also got to the line but had his score ruled out for a forward pass from Tristan Roberts – which was potentially the key moment in the game.
Edwards gave Bristol the lead when he ripped the ball off Moseley scrum-half Ryan Glynn and raced in from 40 metres to score, with Roberts converting.
Bristol created several further opportunities to score, before adding a second try through Johnston, who was driven over after Ben Glynn secured clean line-out ball. Roberts again converted and Bristol were good value for their 14-0 lead.
That could have become 21-0 when Eves took Roberts’ pass and went over, only for referee Llyr ap Geraint Roberts to signal that the fly-half’s pass went forward.
Bristol then seemed to lose their momentum, having Redford Pennycook sin-binned for pulling down a maul, with Moseley scoring from the resulting penalty when they kicked to touch and replacement Sam Dickinson was driven over, with Oli Thomas converting.
From there, Bristol fell apart. They could not manage a single point in the final three-quarters of the match and seemed to lose their focus as Moseley controlled proceedings.
Roy Winters, making his first appearance for four months after ankle surgery, saw yellow for pulling down a line-out, which briefly reduced the visitors to 13 men.
Thomas took advantage immediately, knocking over the penalty to take his side to within four points, before slotting another when Bristol infringed at a scrum.
Moseley took the lead for the first time in the match on 63 minutes when their constant pressure on the Bristol line, after Roberts had been charged down, led to another penalty, which Thomas confidently sent between the sticks.
Bristol a penalty 30 metres out but in front of the sticks – but replacement Matt Jones was off target and Moseley finished the game on top and without too many problems.
They sealed victory and denied Bristol a bonus point when former Colston’s School and Dings Crusaders forward Buster Lawrence, the son of ex-Gloucestershire and England cricketer David, went over in the final minute, with Thomas again converting.
Moseley: O Thomas; S Hunt, G King, A Carter, W Robinson; G Hughes, R Glynn (S Brown 68); E Waller (T Warren 68), S Wilkes (M Williams 68), B Evans, B Lawrence, M Powell (capt; A Lockley 57), N Mason (B Pons 55-68 & 76), O Robinson, B Pienaar (S Dickinson 31). Rep not used: B Davies.
Scorers: Tries – Dickinson, Lawrence. Cons – Thomas (2). Pens – Thomas (3).
Bristol: J Tovey; G Watkins (A Short 70), F Otto, L Eves, R Edwards; T Roberts (M Jones 62), J Grindal (capt; R Tipuna 73); K Traynor, R Johnston (R Lawrence 62), W Thompson (B Douglas 47), B Glynn (G Townson 26), R Winters, M Mama, R Pennycook, M Eadie (I Grieve 57).
Scorers: Tries – Edwards, Johnston. Cons – Roberts (2).
Sin-binned: Pennycook (38-45, pulling down maul); Winters (42-55, pulling down line-out).
Referee: L ap Geraint Roberts.