Match Preview by Glyn Barlow
Moseley v Gala
Saturday 15th December 2012
3.00pm @ Billesley Common
This Saturday we have the unusual prospect of a return fixture against opponents that Moseley faced only one week ago, as Gala make the long trip south. In what is their first trip to Billesley Common we wish them a warm welcome, well as warm as the Common can be in December.
Last week the two teams met at Netherdale where Gala were victorious 18 – 11. Moseley will be hoping to reverse the result this week and get their cup campaign back on the rails. To date Moseley still top Pool 6 with eleven points while Gala are only two points behind in second place. At the half way stage of the pool matches it’s an open race with all four teams still in with a chance of going through to the quarter finals. A win against Gala would put Moseley into a very strong position with an away trip to Llanelli and the visit of London Scottish in the New Year. The last few seasons does suggest Moseley really like leagues of four teams!
For many the trip to Scotland last week was always going to be a tough one, particularly with the injuries the club is currently facing. The sight of both Coaches Dave Hilton & Kevin Maggs amongst the replacements tells a story of the challenges the club currently has. Kevin Maggs must be contemplating writing a letter to Santa to ask for an injury free squad for the New Year, so disappointing must be the lack of opportunity to field a steady starting fifteen.
On a positive note Moseley were able to give a debut 1st VX start to prop Lewis Woodfield a product of the Moseley Colts system, always very pleasing to see players developing from within the club.
Nobody should be under any illusions about Gala, currently standing second in the Scottish Premiership, having won 80% of their games; they are a tough side to break down, with an ability to punish mistakes. For Moseley to succeed at Billesley they will be analysing what worked well in Scotland while looking to eliminate errors made.
For once it was the opposition lineout that failed to function last week and Moseley will need to keep on pressurising this area, to force Gala into conceding possession. Other areas of focus will be to ensure possession is retained and recycled in the tackle, and that loose breaks by Gala are quickly closed down before significant yards are made.
The team will be looking to contain live wire scrum half Gary Graham, scorer of both Gala’s tries last week, while ensuring they give away no penalties, thus avoiding giving Lee Miller an opportunity to use his more than useful boot. On the subject of avoiding the wrath of the Referee two costly yellow cards did nothing to help Moseley’s cause last week. A full eight minutes with fifteen players on the field is essential if a win is to be recorded.
For Moseley this game is not just about remaining top of the B&I Cup pool. It is also about building momentum and confidence as the team enters a crucial phase of the Championship with upcoming fixtures against Nottingham, Jersey and London Scottish. Let’s hope the team seizes the opportunity and gives all their supporters an early Christmas present.
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