BIG MATCH PREVIEW
by Joe Heaton
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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