1st XV Match Preview V Ealing Trailfinders (h) Sat 30/08/2014 

 

by Glyn Barlow

 

At Last!

Home supporters get the chance to see the new Moseley squad in action with the visit of Ealing Trailfinders for the last pre-season friendly before the league starts on the 6th September against Jersey.

Last weekend Moseley went to Northampton as part of a double header day with the Saints also playing Leinster on the same day. Moseley faced a team of young Northampton professionals supplemented by a few trialists in a game which saw a number of last season’s dual registered players including Alex Woolford, Will Hooley and Alex Day facing their previous teammates.

While the final score of 42 – 24 may seem a little lopsided it isn’t really a true reflection of Moseley’s performance throughout the game as with three quarters of the game gone they were just four points down. Two quick converted tries in the last fifteen minutes unfortunately took the game away from Moseley.

The team will have taken a number of positives from the encounter, scoring four tries themselves, with a strong performance from the pack. The game provided the coaches with an opportunity to rotate the starting XV from those who faced Ebbw Vale so it is difficult to draw too many conclusions from the result or the performances of any particular combinations. We can probably expect that the team that starts on Saturday will be far closer to the one that starts the Championship encounter the following weekend.

This Saturday our pre-season visitors are hardly strangers with Moseley and Ealing having faced each other four times last season. Of the encounters Moseley edged the honours with three victories to Ealing’s one

1st November 2013

Championship

Ealing

6 – 15

Moseley

6th December 2013

B&I Cup

Moseley

28 – 10

Ealing

13th December 2013

B&I Cup

Ealing

21 – 18

Moseley

25th January 2014

Championship

Moseley

22 – 12

Ealing

The Championship results against Moseley contributed to what must have been a disappointing first season in level two for the London club as they just missed out on avoiding the drop in a dogfight with Jersey that went down to the last day of the season.

This season they have prepared for life in National 1 by recruiting what seems on paper a stronger squad than that which represented them in 2013/14. New Director of Coaching Ben Ward has brought a number of very good players to Vallis Way including prop Nathan Buck from Newport Gwent Dragons, back rows Tom Brown from Jersey and Redford Pennycook from Bristol and a couple of players well known to Moseley in former captain Andy Reay and second row Paul Spivey. A clear intent that Ealing are looking for a quick return to the Championship.

Pre-season has been going well so far for Ealing and has underlined how good this new squad might be with a 43-19 win over Newport and a 34-25 win over Bedford Blues. Clearly this will be no easy game for Moseley and hopefully Ealing will provide just the testing challenge the team needs to get them ready for the leagues commencement.

We can look forward to a keenly contested contest between the two teams with players looking to stake their claim no jerseys 1 to 15 for the coming weeks and to begin to see what style of play the coaches are looking to infuse into the new squads.