by Glyn Barlow
It is with a strong sense of Deja-Vu that we start this week’s preview of the trip to Ealing on Friday.
Having overcome the same opponents just seven days before Moseley have the chance of back to back wins against the Trailfinders in what will be the third encounter in only six weeks.
Last Friday both teams took the opportunity to rest a number of players and give other first team squad members the opportunity to stake a claim for a starting XV shirt. On the evidence of the result it was Moseley’s strength in depth that prevailed.
The coaching team will have been pleased to see a number of players putting their hand up and saying they are ready to play a greater part in the season. Scott Browne, in his first start for Moseley, played an assured game at fly half distributing the ball well across the back line and proving to be a reliable option as a kicker.
In the forwards Stefan Thorp and Joe Carpenter will have caught Dave Hilton’s eye with some robust defence coupled with good ball carrying. Buster Lawrence relished the opportunity for a run out in the back row with a performance that alleviates some of the concern around covering two try Chris Brightwell’s impending trip to New Zealand to get married. In the second row Mike Powell again played a captains performance leading by example, however the team will be looking for Alex Woolford’s return to fitness to provide a credible second row partner.
All was not perfect in Moseley’s performance last Friday however. An impressive first half was followed by a less than inspiring second forty minutes where the team seemed to lose cohesion and focus. Against other opposition this could have proved costly but it would be only honest to say Ealing were not looking likely to seriously challenge Moseley’s line for most of the game.
An area where Ealing did impress though was in the centre paring of Chris Kinloch and Tom Bedford and, if given more ball from their pack, they could prove a handful for Moseley’s defence.
Looking to this Friday it is highly likely that the starting XV for both teams will be very different to the Billesley encounter as one eye will be on the impending restart of Championship games the following weekend. It will be intriguing to see who from both clubs has done enough to be given an opportunity to cement their place in the starting line-up, while it is probably that regulars such as Matt Williams and Phil Chesters will be reinstalled in their respective teams.
For Moseley the incentive will be to strike a psychological blow by securing a 3 – 0 record against Ealing and also ensuring they perform to the level they will need to beat Jersey the following week.
A full eighty minute effort is the order of the day, no let up, maximum points please.
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