1st XV Match Preview V Jersey (H) Sat 06/09/2014 

By Glyn Barlow

 

With the preliminaries of pre-season over we now look forward to the serious rugby with the first round of league action this weekend as Jersey are our welcome visitors.

Last Saturday Moseley completed their “friendlies” with a 20–15 win over National One outfit Ealing, making it a 2-1 series following a win at Ebbw Vale and a loss at Franklin Gardens.

It’s probably hard to draw any firm conclusions from the match against Ealing as both sides looked to give game time to as many players as possible. Certainly Moseley should be relatively happy with a reasonable defensive performance against an Ealing team which has bulked up since they were encountered last season.

To their credit Ealing kept the pressure on Moseley, who found it difficult at times to make significant ground with ball in hand. The up-front contest proved to be a physical encounter between the two packs which often threatened to boil over. Generally Moseley’s scrum worked well and a number of the new squad members impressed in the loose.

The highlight of the day as far as Moseley supporters will have been concerned was the excellent performance of Scott Armstrong, returned to the wing, with a brace of well taken tries.

Our opponents this week Jersey enjoyed a comprehensive 47–12 win over Blackheath on Saturday to round off their build up which included a 43–0 victory over Ayr and a hard fought 10-34 loss to Premiership outfit Bath.

Since the scare of potential relegation at the end of last season Jersey have brought in a number of impressive players including Springbok U20 hooker Jason Thomas, who will contest the number two shirt with Argentinian international Martin Garcia Veiga. Veiga will pack down with fellow Puma Ignacio Saenz Lancuba at loosehead prop. Back row Michael Noone also moves to the island from Leicester. In the backs experienced fly half Jonny Bentley joins from Gloucester with Tommy Bell a recruit from Wasps outside him.

Last season Moseley achieved a double via a narrow win at Billesley Common, while the sea air of the Channel Islands proved to be most agreeable with the team securing victory in fine style via a five try haul.

Sat 21st December 2013

Moseley

10 – 3

Jersey

Sat 29th March 2014

Jersey

8 – 39

Moseley

Clearly Jersey will be looking to maximise their points early on this the season, to avoid getting drawn into another end of season dogfight. With Moseley looking to improve on their 7th place finish we should have an interesting and entertaining encounter between two teams keep on proving that they can progress.