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Rod is too hot for the Titans.

Byline: BRIAN DICK at Billesley Common



MAGNIFICENT Moseley rode their hot Rod all the way to a scintillating six-try victory over a Rotherham side that left Billesley Common totally shell-shocked.

Once again their inspiration was trymachine James Rodwell who bagged two more in a prolific season that seen him cross opponents' lines on 12 occasions.

But the Red and Blacks had to come from behind to do it after they leaked three soft scores to trail 21-0 inside the first quarter.

That left them facing a second humiliation at the hands of the Titans following the battering they received at Clifton Lane in September.

However, an incredible turnaround saw them pull to within four points at the break and then blow their guests out of the water with a devastating second half performance.

That wasn't on the cards early on though. With just four minutes gone sloppy defence from wing Dan Norton allowed opposite number Jon Feeley to take Chris Briers' off-load and race clear down the sideline and round behind the posts.

Mike Whitehead landed the conversion and the Titans were up and running.

Eight minutes later the fly half found his own way through. A series of scrums deep in home territory ended when Chad Erskine fed his half back partner and the Mose defence stood statuesque as their former team-mate Nick Buckley stormed in on a dummy run.

Whitehead used the indecision to scoot under the sticks despite home appeals for crossing.

The 14 point advantage became 21 midway through the half when Tristan Roberts' needless knock on gave Roth an attacking scrummage.

Feeley raced off his wing, round the back of the scrum and arced his way to the corner from 40m out. Whitehead might have thought his extras had settled the matter.

But Mose had other ideas. Roberts got his side on the board in the 24th minute when the visitors failed to roll away in front of their own posts.

He restored his confidence from his earlier error with a simple penalty.

The game swung decisively on the half hour when Titans' second row Gregor Hayter was yellow carded for foul play.

Mose opted for two scrums before referee Adrian Hartwell awarded a penalty try when a third went down. Roberts made it 21-10. Mose had wind in their sails. Seconds before the break Adam Caves burst through midfield.

Play was swung right and Neil Mason's inside pass to Rodwell allowed the England Sevens man to scorch home from 20m. Roberts improved again and the 14 points Roth had leaked in Hayter's absence were to prove crucial.

The second half continued in the same vein. Rodwell smothered Erskine's clearance. Gareth Taylor recovered and the ball reached Andy Binns.

The full back kicked through and poked the ball ahead for a second time as Brad Hunt tried to clear. That gave Norton the chance to pounce on a loose ball and make amends for his earlier errors. Mose finally had the lead, stretched to 24-21 by Roberts' successful goal.

He missed his next two attempts though, a 46th minute penalty and the conversion to Jack Adams' 47th minute try.

The Gloucester centre, making his first Mose appearance for two months, broke free and despite the presence of supporting runners dragged two tacklers over the line to make it 29-21.

But Mose weren't done. Rodwell bagged his second on the hour following a sequence of penalties.

The hosts wheeled a scrum to give Rodwell the perfect platform from which to plunge through Erskine. Roberts improved once more for 36-21.

The icing came eight minutes from the end when Moseley were camped on the Rotherham line. After several pick and drives Neil Mason was eventually shunted under the posts to give Roberts the simple task of landing his fifth kick from seven attempts.

SCORERS: Moseley - tries - Rodwell (2), penalty try, Norton, Adams, Mason; conversions: Roberts (5); penalties - Roberts. Rotherham - tries - Feeley (2), Whitehead; conversions: Whitehead (3).


TITANS CLASH: Moseley's Nathan Bressington is tackled by Nick Buckley
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 25, 2009
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