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1st XV Match Preview V Birmingham Solihull (Home) Sat 29/01/2011 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW

 

by Joe Heaton

 


MOSELEY v  Birmingham & Solihull,  RFU Championship, at Billesley Common - Saturday, 29th January 2011, k. o. 3pm

 

Life returns from the side steps of the two B&I Cup matches to the rigours of the Championship and its extreme pressures on Saturday in an eagerly awaiting local derby. It also brings Moseley face to face with neighbours Birmingham & Solihull, both of whom prop up the bottom of the table.

                       P       W       D       L       F       A       BPts       P       Pos

Moseley           18     3       2     13    312   606     2        18        11th

Bíham & Solihull 17     3       0     14    320   575     5        17        12th

The five teams presently competing to be excluded from the four relegation play-off places are:

Team                            Matches                           Points to Date        Position

Plymouth                  18                                            3                  8th 

Bristol                      18                                            28                9th    

Esher                       18                                            23               10th

Moseley                   18                                            18                11th    

Bíham  & Solihull        17                                            17                12th

Moseley has four matches left to play in this seasonís Championship as opposed to Bíham &Solihullís five. (The clubs in the 2010 relegation play-offs, in descending order, of the first Championship table, were: Rotherham, Moseley, Coventry and Bíham & Solihull.  Coventry ended up as losers last time)

In the matches between Mose & Bees, since the inception of the Championship in October 2009, the results have been:

31st October   2009        Bíham & Solihull  16   v    Moseley           23        W

23rd January   2010        Moseley             25  v    Bíham & Solihull  24        W

22nd October  2010        Bíham & Solihull   20  v   Moseley             22        W 

The Moseley players return to the Championship fray with two successive home victories (Swansea & Neath) under their belts. Whatever else this might have done, this will have given them a boost to their confidence.

The results  of the last three Championship matches played by both Mose and Bees are:

15th Dec 10      Bees 28 v Cornish Pirates 61 (L)

28th Dec 10     Worcester 45 v Moseley 7 (L)

1st Jan 11       Moseley 12 v Nottingham 36 (L)          Esher 21 v Bees 13 (L)

 8th Jan  11     London Welsh 48 v  Moseley 12 (L)

9th Jan   11     Bees 35 v Doncaster 29 ( W )

Only one win between the two relegation haunted sides, but Birmingham- Solihullís excellent home win over Doncaster earlier this month  was a wake-up call to Moseley as it could be a portent of things to come. Bees survived in the Championship last season against all the odds Ė and they could do so again in May.

Moseley at least beat Neath 24-12 at home last Saturday despite an injury hit side with a makeshift second row and scored three tries to two. The commitment and continuity these backs displayed, however, could have resulted in even more and with greater confidence this will undoubtedly come.  

In the first Championship match played between Moseley and Bees this season at Sharmanís Cross on 22nd October 10, we narrowly beat the home side 20-22 with many people at the ground believing that Bees performance warranted at least a share of the spoils.

The first round of the Championship play offs begin on 12th March, i.e. in six weekís time. By then the Head Coaches of both teams have to have assessed the form of their squad and the recovery state of their injured players, to decide on their first choice sides to take them into this crucial competition.  Important though todayís match is, it is only a step on the road to that goal.

 
 
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