1st XV Match Preview V London Scottish (Richmond) Sat 24/11/2012 

Match Preview by Glyn Barlow

 

After a weekend off where Moseley supporters contemplated Christmas shopping and players rested weary bones its back to Championship action with a trip to the Scottish heartland of Richmond.

 

It’s only just a month ago that Moseley made the Journey down the M40 for a British & Irish Cup fixture, and a most successful visit it was with the team securing 5 points via a 37 – 41 victory. The game proved very much to be Moseley “new” showing Moseley “old” the way as the Scottish line-up included four of last season’s Billesley squad.

 

Five tries, including a brace for Brad Hunt, proved to be the icing on the cake of a very satisfactory day. Unfortunately the team seems to have left their try scoring touch behind after the game, having only scored one solitary try in the three matches in between. If there is ever a time they need to recover their try scoring touch it is this weekend with Scottish standing only a bonus point win above them in the league.

 

The intervening weeks since the two clubs met have been no more kind to Scottish. The weekend following their B&I Cup loss to Moseley Scottish provided Jersey with their first Championship win in the Channel Islands clubs history. This has been followed up with league losses to both Leeds and Plymouth, so we have a very interesting encounter on Saturday with two clubs both looking to return to winning ways.

 

Last season the clubs met each other four times during the 2011/12 season with the following results:

 

Sunday 2nd Nov

London Scottish

37 – 21

Moseley

Monday 26th Dec

Moseley

16 – 29

London Scottish

Sunday 18th Mar

London Scottish

23 – 20

Moseley

Sat 14th Apr

Moseley

26 – 20

London Scottish

 

Based on the last five games there promises to be plenty of points on offer this Saturday. One of the players keen to score some of these points will be James Love, currently standing fifth in the leagues list of top points scorers on 79. Love is ably supported in the points gathering department by a former favourite of Moseley fans in the large shape of Chevvy Pennycook who has crossed the try line five times in the Championship season. Not far behind Chevvy on the try front is another back row forward, New Zealander Mark Bright. With this threat from the base of the scrum the Moseley loose forward trio will need to be on the top of their game.

 

This challenge is one the Moseley guys will face with great relish. With Ben Pienaar, fresh from a very impressive performance for the Championship XV against the New Zealand Maoris, Ollie Robinson & co proving to be some of the best signings made for Moseley this season we are all set up for a battle royal of the back rows.

 

A weekend off, for all bar Ben & Charlie Hayter who was another success story of the Championship XV, will have come as a welcome opportunity for Kevin Maggs and Dave Hilton to regroup the troops, tend to the wounded and re-focus their strategies for the next part of the Campaign.

 

It’s no use denying that two wins and eleven points is little reward for the effort and enthusiasm the squad has put into the season so far. Admittedly injuries to key players such as Mike Powell have not helped, but you cannot fault the endeavours of young players like Buster Lawrence to breech the gaps. This is a relatively young team who are learning Championship ways very quickly, however, the season is not long enough to allow the luxury of a long learning curve, and results are what counts at the end of the season.

 

Moseley need to play to their strengths which this season include a back line with the capabilities to play a wide and a pack suited to a fast pace of game. The return to fitness of Greg King should provide the Ideal complement to Charlie and allow multiple points of attack to be exploited. If Moseley up the tempo and move the bigger Scottish pack around the field tiredness will start to create gaps. The players need to believe in their abilities, be patient and not force the game, scores will come, and these players are too talented not to start scoring five pointers again.

 

The break for the Championship XV game could just be what Moseley needed. The games so far are just history, the season starts here.