BIG MATCH PREVIEW - Cornish Pirates
by PETER WOODROOFE
The National One clubs enter the EDF Energy National Trophy at Round 4 and the draw has not favoured Moseley as a fixture in Camborne against the ambitious Cornish Pirates, a fully professional outfit.
Moseley has already played the Pirates twice in National One this season losing at Camborne 52-16 and at Billesley 42-15. It is unlikely that the Pirates will do Moseley any favours as the final of the National Trophy will take place at Twickenham on April 14, 2007, making it a prestigious trophy to win, a first in the Cornish Pirates cabinet.
Little Cup pedigree
Penzance and Newlyn, the root of their President DICKY EVANS’ vision to have a club from Cornwall in the Premiership, did not qualify for the RFU Cup competition until 1998-9, the 28th season after its inauguration in 1971-2. They reached the second round.
In the following season, Moseley met Penzance and Newlyn in the 3rd round of the Tetley’s Bitter Cup at Mennaye Field, a seething cauldron of Cornish support on a Sunday. Penzance and Newlyn were in National 3 South and were ‘on the up’ with the club’s ambition beginning to become obvious.
Moseley’s 27-14 victory, in the circumstances, was a fine achievement even though the club was in Premiership Two at the time. They Moseley players kept their cool and shape under great pressure. MARCUS COOK scored three tries, a Moseley Cup record, and SIMON BRADING one, with ROD MARTIN converting two and kicking a penalty.
The ‘Pirates’, the club’s nickname, included their Player/ Director of Coaching, the Welsh international lock KEVIN MOSELEY and winger RICHARD NEWTON, who scored a new National League record of thirty-eight tries in that season. He did not score in that game, the Pirates’ only try being scored by right-winger PETER REDGRAVE. Fly-half STEVE EVANS kicked three penalties, which illustrated the pressure put on the Moseley team at times.
Tough up North!
Moseley had to go to Newcastle in Round 4, the other end of the country, and suffered their heaviest Cup defeat, 41-8, before the 76-6 defeat at Plymouth Albion in 2004-5.
Penzance reached the sixth round in 2003-4 when they were in National One, and lost to Saracens 20-30 after wins against Plymouth Albion 26-10 and at Bracknell, 28-15.
In the Powergen Trophy last season, under their newly-branded name Cornish Pirates, they reached the sixth round defeating Wharfedale 41-7, before losing to Plymouth Albion 36-20 at Truro.
Their overall Cup record is Played 17, Won 10, Lost 7, scoring 514 points, with 287 against. Their biggest win was 80-12 against Cinderford in 2001-2 and their biggest losing margin was their 5-21 defeat against Reading in 1998-9.
The crowd at Camborne on Sunday will be seeing a club with a distinguished history in the Rugby Union Senior Cup Competition. Moseley’s overall record - Winners once (shared), Runners-up twice, Semi-finalist six times, Quarter-finalists twelve times and thirty-two years in the competition (maximum) - places the Birmingham club ninth in the list of clubs who have reached the “last eight” of the competition – seven are currently in the Premiership, with only Coventry, lying seventh, outside the Premiership with Moseley.
Moseley have played 83 games, Won 50, Drawn 1, Lost 32, Pts for 1311, Against 1180. The biggest winning margin was 79-10 against Liverpool St Helens in 1997-8 and the biggest losing margin 76-6 at Plymouth Albion.
Last season Moseley reached Round 6, defeating Tynedale 59-24 and Stourbridge away 10-3, before losing to Earth Titans 29-13 at Billesley.
Just how Moseley will approach this match is a matter of conjecture in view of their important match the following week against Otley the nearest club in the league. The spectre of injury is always there. But the general feeling is that whatever Moseley team takes the field, there will be a committed effort against the Pirates who will be out to plunder booty. For those Moseley supporters making the trip our grateful thanks.
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