Teimana Harrison breaks clear of Saints loanee Tom Warren at Billesley Common © www.atsportphoto.com
Match Report Moseley 32-38 Saints: Young Saints see off Moseley
Skipper Sam Dickinson praised the efforts of a youthful Saints squad as they held strong and claimed a second win of 2013/14 pre-season at Moseley.
The number 8 led the side out for the first time - also scoring the opening try - and said that in the end they were pleased to weather a second half storm from the hosts as a bench of Academy talent was emptied.
"It was good to get the win," he told SaintsTV. "We perhaps made it a little bit hard for ourselves but we stuck it out and got the result against a good side.
"The younger lads did really well - though I'd like to think some of us older guys wore Moseley down a little bit! There's a lot of pace there though and the forwards also did a lot of hard work linking up. We scored some good tries in the second half and I think we deserved the win."
Six tries and six scorers did the damage and while Moseley showed fighting spirit, a young Saints side did more than enough to maintain a lead they held following a topsy-turvy opening 40.
Having seen Moseley take the initiative almost immediately through Caolan Ryan's penalty, Saints built the pressure and the phases to produce a score of their own.
A second scrum of the evening may have ended in a stalemate but Dickinson proved unstoppable breaking from the back and with Sam Olver's conversion, Saints had the evening's first seven-pointer.
The hosts would, against the run of play, cancel Dickinson's effort out but a smart piece of poaching by Teimana Harrison would lay on a second Saints try of the evening.
Yet while Howard Packman benefitted from the back row's neat offload and Dickinson's pass, the jet heeled Matt Williams scorched home from 60 metres out having already played a big hand in Mose's first and the see-saw nature of a thrilling, if slightly loose battle went on.
Predictably, Saints would score next, the forwards grunting and Vasily Artemyev making the most of a man outside to dummy, hand off Scott Armstrong and go into the corner, Olver adding the extras.
With Saints dominating through their driving game, Moseley's cause wasn't helped by Mike Powell seeing yellow as a second drive was illegally sacked by the men in red and black. Rob Verbakel and then Artemyev were held up over the line immediately thereafter but third time lucky Tom Stephenson broke the defensive resolve and Olver again found the mark with the additional two.
That was enough to see the Saints through to the break but a sustained barrage of attacks on the visitors' line almost from the restart ended in Chris Brightwell barging his way over.
Things got even more interesting when Ryan rewarded some Moesely scrum dominance with a further three points against a Saints side now averaging well down toward the teens in terms of age and more than holding their own in defence.
One of those youngsters ensured that the Moseley hope wouldn't last for long too, George Wacokecoke rewarding one of only a few Saints attacks in the second half with an instinctive finish on the right with just nine to play.
Harry Mallinder crucially nailed the conversion to give his side a two-score buffer, albeit one they wouldn't need. Tom Collins made it tries in back-to-back Saints games, coasting in after a clinical counter two minutes from time to ensure a Mose penalty try was mere consolation.
3mins MOSE Pen Ryan 3-0
5mins SAINTS Miss pen Olver
10mins SAINTS Try Dickinson Con Olver 3-7
20mins MOSE Try Con Ryan 10-7
22mins SAINTS Try Packman 10-12
25mins MOSE Try Williams Con Ryan 17-12
29mins SAINTS Try Artemyev Con Olver 17-19
32mins MOSE Yellow Powell
38mins SAINTS Try Stephenson Con Olver 17-26
HALF-TIME MOSELEY 17 SAINTS 26
44mins MOSE Miss pen Ryan
51mins MOSE Try Brightwell 22-26
67mins MOSE Pen Ryan 25-26
71mins SAINTS Try Wacokecoke Con 25-33
77mins SAINTS Try Collins 25-38
80mins MOSE Try Penalty Con Ryan 32-38
FULL-TIME MOSELEY 32 SAINTS 38
MOSELEY - Penn; Armstrong, Owen, Carter, Williams; Ryan, Brown; Warren, W Evans, B Evans, Hill, Powell, Burrows, Robinson, Brightwell
Replacements - Hilton, Randall, Parkins, Woolford, Carpenter, Brazier, Hunt, Browne, Dacres, Mason, Thomas, Evans
SAINTS - Artemyev (Collins, 58); Skelcey, Diggin (Cooke, 77), Stephenson (Mallinder, 58), Packman; Olver (Wacokecoke, 69), A Day (Glynn, 56); E Waller (Hobbs-Awoyemi, 64), McMillan (Marshall, 58), Herriott (E Waller 69), Craig (Onojaife, 56), Verbakel (Peters, 58-61), Harrison (Conner, 74), Nutley (Harry, 56), Dickinson (capt)