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1st XV Match Preview V London Welsh (Away) Sat 08/01/2011 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW

 

by Joe Heaton

London Welsh v Moseley

Old Deer Park

Saturday, 8th January 2011, k.o. 2.00 pm

It is unlikely that the London Welsh team to play Moseley in the Championship match at Old Deer Park on Saturday afternoon will be the team which we beat 21-24 on 11th December in the B&I Cup. It will almost certainly be both stronger and more committed to at least maintaining, or possibly improving, the club’s present fourth   position in the League.

This is not to belittle Moseley’s rare away victory but to put it into context as our opponents on Saturday won by the substantial margin of 21-68 in the corresponding home match in October.

The present relative positions of the two teams in the Championship, and their points scoring record so far, are:

                          P        W        D        L        F       A        B        Pts        Pos

London   Welsh     15      11       0         4       424    263    10        54          4th

Moseley               17      3         2        12      300    558    2         18          11th

The results of the last two matches of both teams over Christmas & New Year are:

28th December          Doncaster         19           London Welsh  21        W       

 1st January              London Welsh    24           Esher             17        W

28th December          Worcester         45           Moseley           7         L

1st  January              Moseley            12           Nottingham      36        L   

These figures are perhaps a reflection of the difference between a well funded fully professional side and a semi-professional one on a tight budget. In many ways however Moseley team has recently been playing well (for example against Bedford, Worcester and Nottingham) between the 22s. The players’ problems remain inside the five metre lines, notably the inability to remain cool enough to convert pressure into points and to maintain a defensive line. The coaches have been working hard on this for some time, as it will be vital that they are tightened up if, as is possible, the club does find itself in the relegation play-offs starting on 12th March (i.e. in eight weeks time.)

Notwithstanding the more demanding environment and probable stronger side, Moseley should take heart from the Cup victory at Old Deer Park last month. Encouragement can also be taken from the fact that, in spite of the travails of the season, the club has maintained its core support and that of the local sporting press.

This season is London Welsh’s 125th Anniversary. The club is now managed by Chief Executive John Taylor with Phil Greening as Head Coach and Jonathon Miller as captain.

Games between our clubs go back many decades and spectators enjoyed the free flowing movement among the teams. Whatever the outcome, the game itself should continue to be an entertaining spectacle in line with that great rugby tradition. 


 

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