Rugby Union: Seabrook seeking release

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The Independent Online
Moseley. . .18

Orrell. . . .9

IN the aftermath of a day when the spirit of revival at long last decided on a return to Moseley, Des Seabrook will quickly want to exorcise the ghost of frustration dogging his Orrell team.

Losing to sides from the lower leagues twice in a season is barely tolerated under Seabrook's exacting stewardship, but defeat by Second Division opposition in successive weeks has uncovered more than just carelessness.

Without Bob Kimmins, who is unlikely to be fit in time for their first League match on Saturday week against London Scottish, or Charles Cusani, whose business commitments may keep him out until November, Orrell have acute ball-winning problems.

These and other deficiencies were mercilessly exposed by a renascent Moseley who have most, if not all, of the armoury needed to take them back into the First Division. Only their midfield needs sharpening up, to provide better support to Dave Hanson, by some way the best of their backs.

If the England team manager Geoff Cooke had travelled to The Reddings to see how Mike Teague was shaping up he will have been disappointed, for Teague and his former Gloucester colleague Phil Blakeway were absent with minor leg injuries. It made little or no difference to the way their new team-mates delivered.

As the Moseley coach Alex Keay mischievously pointed out: 'The way our back row played - never mind the rest of the pack - it may be tricky fitting Mike in. As for Phil, you'll have to wait and see who we pick to play Bedford.'

However, Cooke's journey was not entirely wasted as a slimmer and fitter Mark Linnett at loose- head and Steve Lloyd in the second row made telling contributions to productive scrummaging and line-out performances.

As for Orrell, three penalties by Gerry Ainscough was all they deserved. If Andy Houston - who dropped a goal and kicked a conversion plus a 30-metre penalty - had not been off target on four other occasions, the margin of defeat might have been another source of anxiety for Seabrook.

Moseley: Tries Parry, Fenley; Conversion Houston; Penalty Houston; Drop goal Houston. Orrell: Penalties Ainscough 3.

Moseley: J Reed-Daunter; D Spiller, I Bancroft, B Massey, D Hanson; A Houston, B Fenley; M Linnett, D Ball, P Mitchell, C Raymond, S Lloyd, N Martin, D Parry, P Shillingford (capt).

Orrell: S Taberner (capt); C Bibby, S Langford, G Ainscough, P Halsall; M Strett, G Povall; D Sandford, P Stokes, M Ridehalgh, S Bibby, C Brierley, P Manley, N Ashhurst (P Winstanley, 21), S Gallagher.

Referee: B Capsall (Halifax).