Full-time: Bristol Rugby 21 Moseley 22
Bristol 21 Moseley 22
BRISTOL were beaten for the second game running – and the third in five Championship matches this season – as Moseley came back from 21-5 down to win at the Memorial Stadium tonight.
Moseley scored 17 unanswered points in the final 14 minutes plus stoppage-time to inflict a chastening defeat on last season's Championship table-toppers, who so far this term have looked a pale imitation of their former selves.
David McIlwaine and Mitch Eadie went over in the second half to give Bristol what appeared to be a comfortable lead, before Glynn Hughes and Charlie Hayter replied late on, with Hughes landing an injury-time penalty to stun Bristol and the majority of the 4,797 crowd.
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Bristol have now lost two of their three home matches this season and face a trip to Rotherham – where they lost 44-6 last season – in their next match, next Saturday.
Bristol led 6-5 at half-time – and there was barely a ripple of applause as they trooped off after a dismal opening 40 minutes. Moseley missed 11 points in kicks during the opening half, although three of those went begging when Hughes missed an audacious 55-metre effort on the stroke of half-time.
Hughes did, however, score the only try of the first half, dummying his way into space after Moseley had kept the ball impressively after winning a penalty in Bristol territory. The fly-half created room for himself, before beating McIlwaine and Matt Williams to the line.
He responded after Tristan Roberts had kicked Bristol into a seventh-minute lead – a score that capped a positive start to the match for the hosts from a possession and territory viewpoint.
Moseley were reduced to 14 men when Hayter saw yellow for a high tackle – and 13 when Ben Pienaar and Bristol's Mariano Sambucetti were sent to the sin-bin for clashing off the ball.
Bristol made their one-man advantage count when Roberts kicked them into the lead following a penalty at a scrum, shortly after Ryan Edwards had been held up, but the visitors had three opportunities to nick the lead before the interval.
Oli Thomas, who had missed the conversion attempt following Hughes' try, failed from long range, before Hughes missed from 38 metres and then his own half as Bristol shaded a poor first half.
Bristol started the second period with more zest, scoring their first try eight minutes into the half when, after Ruki Tipuna, Sambucetti and Ben Mosses had combined to go close, the ball was spun left and Rhys Lawrence found McIlwaine, who scored his first try for the club.
Roberts missed the conversion – but soon found the middle of the posts with a penalty to give his side a 14-5 lead.
Bristol increased their advantage when, after McIlwaine's positive break and a couple of forwards being stopped just short, Eadie picked up and drove over to score. Roberts converted for a 21-5.
But Moseley, who briefly had 16 men on the field after sending on Nigel Burrows and before Pienaar departed the action, hit back through their legitimate 15 men when Hughes evaded the home defence to score his second try of the evening, which he then converted.
Moseley set up a frantic finale when they grabbed a third try – a wonderful, length-of-the-field effort. Running the ball from their own line, Hughes eventually sent Hayter in from 20 metres to cap a sublime team move. Hughes' conversion made it 21-19 with seven minutes to play.
Moseley lost replacement Burrows to the sin-bin – but still ended up camped on the Bristol line. And, after several scrums, Bristol were penalised for going over the top and Hughes landed the penalty that won Moseley the game.
Bristol: D McIlwaine; R Edwards, L Eves, B Mosses, M Williams; T Roberts ,R Tipuna; W Davis (M Lilley 59), R Lawrence, B Douglas (W Thompson 54), M Sambucetti (B Glynn 59), G Townson, I Grieve (capt), R Pennycook, M Eadie. Reps not used: T Channon, S Uren, J Grindal, M Jones.
Scorers: Tries – McIlwaine, Eadie. Con – Roberts. Pens – Roberts (3).
Sin-binned: Sambucetti (31-40, fighting).
Moseley: O Thomas (B Robinson 71); S Hunt, G King, C Hayter, B Hunt (A Carter 71); G Hughes, S Brown (A Day 58); E Waller (C Meddick 75), A Caves (S Wilkes 68), C Voisey, B Lawrence, A Lockley, N Mason, O Robinson, B Pienaar (capt; N Burrows 63). Rep not used: L Mather.
Scorers: Tries – Hughes (2), Hayter. Cons – Hughes (2). Pen – Hughes.
Sin-binned: Hayter (29-39, high tackle), Pienaar (31-40, fighting), Burrows (75, killing the ball).
Referee: R Campbell. Att: 4,797.