Moseley 9, Cornish Pirates 9
IN AN insipid affair on a chilly day in the Midlands the Cornish Pirates somehow conspired to draw at Moseley for the third season in a row.
And the fact that they should have won at a canter simply made the result even more painful to endure.
Recent results suggested that the Cornish Pirates were beginning to get their act together, but the performance here against a limited Moseley team who have yet to win at home this season, again left head coach Ian Davies facing more questions than answers.
"We never looked like losing, but in the end never looked like winning either," he said.
"We played some good stuff and we played some really dumb stuff, that's the frustration.
"Moseley only looked threatening from possible intercepts and other than that we controlled the game.
"We have to learn to put sides away. We should have scored at least three tries. It could have been double that."
He added: "In the first half we managed the yellow card very well and looked like scoring the tries.
"We had the clear cut opportunities to score and I can't really think of a lot where they threatened our try-line.
"We got split as a back line, didn't stay as a unit, and the forwards got a bit disjointed too when they were carrying, so we got isolated and maybe that's where the penalties we conceded came from.
"We certainly had opportunities, we just didn't take them."
In the end the Cornish Pirates had to be thankful for the accurate place kicking of fly-half Aaron Penberthy, who gave them an early lead with his first penalty after three minutes, before being sin-binned for killing the ball shortly afterwards.
These proved to be the only points of a half largely dominated by the Pirates, with Moseley only briefly threatening while Penberthy was off the field.
The youngster resumed the points scoring early in the second half with two more penalties to make it 9-0 and was tantalisingly denied a shot at running the length of the field to score after picking off a loose Moseley pass.
Referee Matt Carley refused to play an advantage for an earlier knock-on and the chance was gone.
However, the introduction of former Pirate Ollie Thomas by the Midlanders coincided with the Pirates conceding a flurry of penalties and Thomas banged over three tough place kicks in eight minutes to level the scores.
Kieran Hallett had a late chance to win the game with a penalty of his own after the Pirates had taken control of the game again but his kick sailed wide.
Davies added: "At half-time we spoke about how we weren't getting the reward for our dominance at the scrum, but you have to play what is in front of you.
"We started then giving silly penalties away even though we were dominating, but that was down to interpretation and you have to play to what the whistle-blower is doing. You can't set your own agenda."
He added: "As a pack we pride ourselves on being dominant and we were but we didn't get the reward, so then you have to go for Plan B.
"Plan B has to be smarter but today that wasn't us."
Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans match preview, see page 112.