1st XV Match Preview V Yorkshire Carnegie (h) Fri 19/09/2014 

by Glyn Barlow

Moseley have their work cut out this Friday not just facing a city but a whole county as the rebranded Yorkshire Carnegie visit Billesley Common.

For anyone still confused (and you could be excused it if you have visited the RFU fixtures website recently and seen we are playing Leeds instead) we are of course facing our old sparing partners from Leeds who have recently changed names as a strategy to embrace the wider support of the white rose county’s rugby followers.

The name change forms part of Sir Ian McGeechan’s plans to bring sustainable Premiership rugby back to the county. This name change isn’t of course a unique event in the clubs history as Leeds Rugby came about in 1991 with the merger of the Headingley and Roundhay clubs. The club has subsequently transformed through Leeds Tykes and Leeds Carnegie to find its current identity this season.

It’s not just in the area of branding that the club has seen changes for 2014/15. New Coach Gary Mercer joined Carnegie in August from the Scotland coaching team, following a playing background in Rugby League for amongst others Leeds Rhinos. Joining Mercer as new faces at the club are Full Back David Mcilwaine from Ulster, Chris Pilgrim at scrum half from Newcastle, London Welsh prop Chris Tideswell and England back row Chris Jones who moved from Worcester.

They join a familiar face to Moseley supporters in fly half Glyn Hughes who finished last season as the clubs top points scorer. Joining Hughes again in the backline is last season’s top try scorer for the club David Doherty who crossed the try line a very impressive 17 times (4 of them against Moseley).

So far this season Carnegie have a 50% record having beaten Cornish Pirates 18 – 29 in the opening weekend, but enduring a reversal of fortunes last weekend when they lost 13 – 26 to Bristol.

Last season Moseley and Leeds (as they were then known) met twice with Carnegie winning both encounters, the away game being Moseley’s worse performance of the season (and quite possibly of any season since winning promotion).

Sat 26th October 2013

Moseley

18 – 27

Leeds

Sun 16th February 2014

Leeds

62 – 5

Moseley

This time Moseley will need to be at their sharpest from the first whistle to deny Carnegie their usual barnstorming start to the game. Based on last weekend’s visit to Worcester this is a distinct possibility as, despite a couple of lapses, the team put in an excellent defensive effort against a powerful Warriors team.

Indeed Moseley were unfortunate not to come away with a consolation bonus point, as within the last quarter they took the game to Worcester and finished by far the stronger. Strangely it is possibly Moseley who can take more positives from the game despite the loss.

If they can bring that same intensity to bear from the first whistle, and sort out their lineout issues, then we are guaranteed an exciting and entertaining game under the Friday night lights.