1st XV Match Preview V Doncaster (a) Sat 15/11/2014 

 

by Glyn Barlow

Moseley travel north this week bolstered by their first Championship win of the season 16 – 9 against London Scottish last Saturday.

There will not be many more hard fought wins as this one, as the team had to not only overcome third place Scottish but also some of the worst rain we have seen for many a season.

The coaches and players have been saying for a while that results will come and we shouldn’t read too much into the start of the campaign as there were some close games against tough opposition, but if supporters were honest not many would have seen this game as a banker for a win.

Scottish certainly selected a team reflective of seeking a further win to consolidate their top four status, with the league’s leading try scorer and a wing combination with pace to burn starting the game.

The elements combined to nullify most elaborate back play, which made the execution of Drew Cheshire’s fourth league try even more creditable. By the end of the game Moseley emerged the victors by their ability to play to the challenging conditions.

This week it’s a welcome return to Castle Park after Doncaster’s somewhat surprising relegation to National One last season. The Knights made sure their sabbatical from the Championship was as short as possible winning 25 of their 30 games, beating Rosslyn Park to the top spot courtesy of an impressive 18 four try bonus points.

It would seem this season that Doncaster have started in a similar mind set currently occupying seventh place having beaten Plymouth (27-6), Jersey(17-23) and Yorkshire Carnegie (23-32). Equally impressive is the fact that they only lost to Pirates by 2 points, league leaders Bristol by 12 and Worcester by 16. Clearly the squad are nobody’s pushovers.

As part of their preparation for life back in the Championship the Knights recruited a number of new players including Tongan internationals scrum half Tomasi Palu & back row Latu Makaafi, Canadian international second rows Jon Phelan & Tyler Hotson, centre Andrew Bulumakau from Gloucester and back row Alex Shaw from Nottingham.

Last time the two teams met in the Championship honours went to the home team on both occasions

Sat 26th October 2012

Doncaster

21-13

Moseley

Sat 2nd March 2013

Moseley

23 – 9

Doncaster

Indeed in recent seasons results between them have been pretty even with four wins apiece out of the last eight encounters. Moseley’s last win at Doncaster coming in the 2019/11 season 16-23.

This Saturday Moseley must assume the task is no easier than that which they faced against London Scottish, and they will need to find the same level of intensity in their commitment. Doncaster will be a tough team to beat particularly at Castle Park. Discipline will be essential to deprive the league’s leading points scorer Dougie Flockhart from adding to his 77 to date. Indeed it is probably fair to say that points from the boot is key as 7th placed Doncaster have only scored as many tries as Moseley so far this campaign.

Let’s hope the team build on last week’s success and start their climb to mid-table.