BIG MATCH PREVIEW
By Joe Heaton
It is hard to believe, but this will be the last home match of this regular Championship season, with only next Saturday’s away match against Esher to follow. Thereafter there will be two B&I Cup matches against Ulster on the 23rd, and Bedford on the 26th, of this month and finally the relegation playoffs.
The relative positions in the Championship of the two clubs are:
P W D L F A BPts Pts Pos
Rotherham 20 9 0 11 408 523 6 42 7th
Moseley 20 4 3 13 360 622 3 25 11th
The results of the last three Championship matches played by Moseley and Rotherham Titans are:
29th January Esher 23 Rotherham 19
2nd February B’ham / Solihull 25 Rotherham 24
5th February Rotherham 35 Doncaster 34
8th January London Welsh 48 Moseley 12
29th January Moseley 42 B’ham/ Solihull 16
5th February Plymouth 6 Moseley 6
The match results of the two clubs against each other last season, and so far this season, are:
7th November 2009 Moseley 31 Rotherham 27 W
30th January 2010 Rotherham 7 Moseley 19 W
6th November 2010 Rotherham 28 Moseley 17 L
Moseley has had an excellent run in the last four matches – three of them home wins. Last Saturday down in Plymouth, in foul conditions, heroic defence was demonstrated against the Albion in securing a 6-6 draw which augers well for the relegation playoff games.
At the other end of the country, however, a flawless kicking display (seven penalties and two conversions!) in appalling conditions by Argentinean Juan Pablo Socino helped Rotherham beat Doncaster 35-34 at home. (This was the second match in a week, involving Rotherham, which had been decided by one point, for on the Wednesday before the Titans had been beaten away by Birmingham & Solihull 25-24).
The Moseley players will enter this game knowing, for better or for worse, that they will be playing in Pool C of the relegation play offs. They now have the opportunity for more than a month to prepare, both physically and mentally, for the trial this will represent. We wish them well as they do so.
Finally we should place our visitors in a wider context. For much of the twentieth century the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham was one of the great powerhouses of the United Kingdom. Sitting on a field of best quality coal, the town manufactured much of the country’s alloy and stainless steel and bred proud, strong and tough men to do so, above and below ground.
Few towns, however, suffered more from the sad decline of British heavy industry, and the move away from coal as an energy source, than Rotherham did. Nevertheless, the town and its rugby club survived, and at times the latter prospered beyond expectation. We should consider it a privilege to welcome them.
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