Plymouth Albion 24
Scotland coach Andy Robinson was an illustrious guest at Billesley Common on Saturday where he witnessed a Moseley speciality, a meritorious performance once again rewarded more by plaudits than points.
Robinson, who was there to witness his son Olly, like his old man a tearaway openside, turn in yet another energetic and hugely promising display from the Moseley bench.
And before he left he popped in to see his former Bath charges and current Moseley coaching staff, Kevin Maggs and David Hilton, who at the time could have done with the odd wise pearl.
Particularly given the fact that after three years of searching around Murrayfield Robinson appears to have found the answer to that most perplexing of rugby riddles - how to turn performances into results.
While the record books show that Robinson’s Scotland had a lamentable 2012 Six Nations, winning none of their five matches, what they don’t register is that England were a Ross Rennie pass from being beaten in the first game.
Wales were given serious headaches in the first half of the second and France were pushed all the way in the third as McRobbo’s side perfected profligacy.
And Moseley are in exactly the same position, finding every defensive mistake ruthlessly punished and each offensive error totally debilitating. With more composure and accuracy they could have had this one won by half-time.
And that’s where Robinson comes in. This summer the coach led Scotland on an unbeaten three match tour of Australia, Fiji and Samoa, three wins by an aggregate margin of 16 points. The performances were far from sparkling but the results speak for themselves. What Moseley would do for a few weeks of that.
Especially after another exercise in unrewarded endeavour. Quite how Plymouth went in to half time leading 14-10 only Moseley will know as they squandered position and possession on an industrial scale.
An isolated runner and botched lineout here, dropped pass and penalty there and it soon gets away from you as it becomes impossible to apply and maintain pressure.
Simon Hunt’s second try in a Moseley shirt was intelligent but it was an off-the-cuff piece of inspiration that won’t give much succour to coaches looking for the right system or an adhered-to pattern.
The problem was everyone made at least one mistake, some like poor Ollie Thomas more than one, put them all together and all the effort and energy goes unrewarded.
Plymouth, who benefitted from two close range efforts from Sam Hocking, were hardly clinical - why they chose to tap so many advanced penalties was a mystery, but then they didn’t need to be.
With Hocking’s line-crossing and Paul Roberts’s post-splitting they were able to keep the scoreboard ticking which meant Moseley could never quite catch up.
Even when Sam Wilkes rode a maul to reduce the deficit to 17-15 just after the hour, there was still one more defensive howler to allow Paul Bailey to score from 30m.
It was a credit to Moseley that they dug deep and insisted on a loss bonus at the very least, a 78th minute penalty try scant dividends on they investment.
What they need most though, is to find out how Robinson has turned Scotland from narrow losers to narrow victors.
MOSELEY: Thomas; Hunt S, King (Hunt B 76), Hayter, Robinson B; Hughes (Davies 76), Brown (Day 62); Meddick (Hilton 72), Caves (Wilkes 54), Voisey, Lockley, Lawrence, Mason (Robinson O 65), Pons (Burrows 72), Pienaar
PLYMOUTH: Slade; Bailey, Howley-Berridge, Armitage, Arnott; Roberts, Cushion (Rowley 59); Andrew (Hopkins 76), Vickers (Cowan-Dickie 59), Morton, Beukeboom (Sprangle 56), Ashcroft-Leigh, Nasiga (Tovey 60), Hocking, Stephen. Replacements: Warner, Fisilau
Referee: Ian Tempest (RFU)