1st XV Match Preview V Cornish Pirates (h) Fri 07/02/2014 

Prepare to repel all boarders the Pirates are coming!

This Friday we welcome visitors from the Duchy to Billesley for another hard fought encounter between the two clubs.

How hard fought? Well if recent history between the two clubs is anything to go by then it will be a close encounter. Remarkably the last three seasons has seen three draws at Billesley between the two teams. Earlier this campaign Moseley put in arguably one of their better early season performances at The Mennaye but unfortunately let the game slip away 28-13.

Pirates currently sit in sixth place, with two wins more than Moseley. Having been a team who regularly challenge playoff positions they will not be happy with this and will clearly be targeting Friday’s match as an opportunity to put pressure on London Scottish who reside one place above them.

This ambition was not helped last week when they drew at home to basement dwellers Ealing. This result came on the back of away losses to Scottish (25-5) and Rotherham (35-30). These disappointments can however be tempered somewhat by fine wins earlier in the season over Bristol (twice), Scottish and Bedford, in what has been a somewhat unpredictable season to date. Away travel has proved to be a particular Achilles heel so far with their only win on the road being their first game at Ealing in September.

Prominent in the Cornishmen’s efforts has been scrum half/wing Tom Kessell who has crossed the try line eight times and ever reliable kicker Kieran Hallett

Since Moseley and Pirates last met the team, under Head Coach Ian Davies, will have felt considerable disappointment following the departure after Christmas of Assistant Coach Harvey Biljon to take up the role of Head Coach at Jersey.

For Moseley once the disappointment of returning from Yorkshire without a point has worked its way out of their system they will reflect on how far this squad has come since the opening of the season. Having lost heavily to Rotherham twice in the opening weeks of the season the game at Clifton Road was one of marked difference, with a committed Moseley team pushing the Titans right to the end.

A solid performance in the set piece from the Moseley pack could not unfortunately be capitalised on. While the team produced scoring opportunities they were unable to convert them to numbers on the board.

Many spectators may concur that the team was unlucky to return empty handed, but the Championship is an arena where you certainly make your own luck. If the team cuts down on giving the opposition chances to relieve pressure and finds that small amount of precision that is the difference between celebrating a score and holding your head in your hands in frustration then hopefully we will see a win for Moseley rather than the customary draw.

As the last game before the current west stand comes down to get relocated lets ensure the lads know that you are “Standing” right behind them.