1st XV Match Preview V Bedford (h) Sat 01/03/2014 

By Glyn Barlow

Following the excellent performance against Cornish Pirates Moseley entertain Bedford Blues on St David’s Day, a date we hope will inspire the significant contingent of Welshmen in the Moseley squad.

If we want to look for inspiration though we need only look back to the Friday fixture against Pirates. After suffering the ignominy of a heavy loss at Headingly the team would have been determined to prove this was just a bad day at the office and not a true reflection of their capabilities. And prove it they did.

As impressive a start as we have seen all season was eclipsed by a determination at the end that this was not going to be yet another home draw to add to the last three against Pirates. Moseley played the conditions well and ensured that tactically they put the Cornishmen on the back foot to record their sixth Championship win of the season, already equalling last season’s total.

Having only lost four games at home all season the team have made Billesley Common a very difficult place to visit, a fact that will not be lost to Bedford who have secured only one win on the road all season over Plymouth Albion (16-27) in November. That said there is no cause for complacency in the Moseley camp as Bedford are currently only two places, and two points, behind them in the league.

Bedford will arrive at the Common well rested having played their last fixture on the 8th February, a hard fought loss to Bristol (19-32). Prior to that they also suffered heavily at the hands of Leeds 50–6. Despite these results there have been some very significant victories including a London double; 21-13 over Scottish on New Year’s Day and 28-26 at home to Welsh in November.

Since Moseley visited Goldington Road for a 13-26 victory the Blues have strengthened their squad with the signing of recent Argentinian International prop Tomas Paz from San Isidros. He is also joined in the team by versatile back Tony Fenner, a product of their academy, from Viadana. Fenner joins a backline including Canadian international James Pritchard and summer recruit from Jersey Michael Le Bourgeois.

For Moseley to succeed against the Blues they will again need big performances from the likes of Craig Voisey, Will Hooley and the two Greg’s, King and Charlton, who all played a significant part in the win over Pirates.

It was a victory, however, that was not attributable to just individual efforts. The squad demonstrated they can play a calm, tactical game, looking to create attacking positions in opposition territory.

Both teams will realise the significance of this match. While it is not yet a mathematical certainty, the winner will take another significant step towards the Championship 2014/15 season.

Please note: Access to the relocated stand will be via the hospitality box entrance, the roof has yet to be fitted. Gate access to ground & car parking will be as normal. The previous stand area is now out of bounds to the public and is fenced off.