BIG MATCH PREVIEW -

 

by Joe Heaton


MOSELEY v  Exeter Chiefs -  EDF Cup Semi Final/National League One ‘double header’ at Billesley Common - Saturday, 21st March 2009, k. o. 3pm (but come for lunch!)
 


 

                                    

Without doubt this cup and league ‘double header’ is the biggest and most important match at Billesley Common since Moseley took up residence here in 2005.

The stakes are high for both sides. The fully professional Exeter Chiefs, are only five points behind Leeds Carnegie, with a game in hand, at the top of National League One and need every point they can garner. The thought that they could possibly lose out, after three tremendous seasons, on both promotion to the Premiership and the EDF Trophy, will no doubt give nightmares to Exeter’s players and supporters alike. Their team will be fired up.

For Moseley the incentives are different. The importance of earning more league points cannot be overemphasised, as the battle to retain the eleventh place hots up and the possibility of not doing so is contemplated. On the other hand the thought that Moseley could possibly return to Twickenham for the first time since 1982, twenty-seven years ago, when the John Player Cup was jointly won with Gloucester, stirs the blood.

There is another matter on the agenda this afternoon. Very early in the season, on 20th September, Exeter thrashed Moseley 70-10, in one of the heaviest defeats in our long history. This defeat has to be avenged and Moseley’s claim, to be able to give the best teams in the league a good game, vindicated. Since the beginning of the season the Chiefs have averaged 36 points per game, compared with Moseley’s 25, a difference of 11. Moseley’s defence will have to be on top form to hold Exeter’s rampaging backs.

The results of Exeter’s last two league matches were:

15th March Cornish Pirates 7 v Exeter 16
7th March Exeter 40 v Manchester 5

Moseley’s heart warming victory over Sedgley Park should boost the team’s confidence, but the high margin (51-17) of the victory must not be allowed to gloss over persistent weaknesses, that Exeter will ruthlessly exploit. Unlike Sedgley Park, the Chiefs can be expected to kick all the penalties conceded to them in Moseley’s own half and failures to find touch will be immediately capitalised upon. Discipline has to be maintained for the whole of the eighty minutes plus, for the consequences of a Moseley player being sent to the sin bin do not bear thinking about.

Exeter will be well supported and it is up to Moseley’s members and supporters to drown out their cheers. We hope that the local visitors too will give their support to Moseley.

The Chiefs have made no secret of their ambition to join the Premiership. Boosted by the extra income generated by their purpose built ground, Sandy Park, they have assembled a talented and fully professional squad, recruiting widely, notably from their close rivals in the South West.

Peter Drewett, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby (a former England U21 coach), has a done a fine job this season. To bring in sixteen new, fully professional players (and dispense with the services of thirteen), and integrate them immediately into a team that delivered results, was not easy

Exeter Rugby Club has come a long way since League rugby started in 1987-8, and it was in National League Two. This is the club’s eleventh season in the second tier, with best finishes being second in 2004-05 and second again last season. We wish them well, but not at Moseley’s expense this afternoon.
 

Your club’s directors have once again, despite a consequential financial loss for the club, done the decent thing and will be allowing members with league game season tickets to use them for the game so please do try to bring a paying guest with you to defer some of the loss, help your club and out shout the Chiefs support.

There is always good food and drink available 'from noon' and if you’ve
'Never tasted the "best pork bap in Christendom" or supped "Champion Midlands Beer from Purity brewed just down the road in Great Alne?" then now is the chance to do so by getting there early on Saturday.  


ALSO THIS WEEKEND

***SAT 21st MAR***

Midlands League 4

“Moseley Oak v Handsworth”

@ Billesley KO 2.15pm

&

RBS Six Nations

“England v Scotland”

Clubhouse Big Screen TV
@ Billesley KO 3.00pm

 
Moseley set for Trophy double-header - RFU

Moseley-Exeter is a double header - BBC

Twickers' hero Nutt tells Moseley to write their own history - B Post

Moseley can reach Twickenham says legend Linnett - Mercury

 

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