1st XV Match Preview V Nottingham (h) Sat 22/11/2014 

by Glyn Barlow

After the trials and tribulations of early season Moseley have the opportunity of securing a hat trick of wins this Saturday with the visit of Nottingham.

The win over a Doncaster team that had already proved that they were going to be nobody’s promoted relegation fodder, with three wins from their six games prior to Saturday, was a strong indication of what Moseley are capable of.

Most significantly it was Moseley’s all round game management that helped secure the win with the pack in a dominant mood and some excellent tactical and place kicking from Sam Olver who’s nearly faultless display with the boot gave him 23 of Moseley’s 28 points.

As good a kicker as Sam is he doesn’t score points unless the opportunity to do so is created and it was a true team effort that put Doncaster under considerable pressure, forcing them to concede penalties.

This week the team face no lesser a challenge as a resurgent Nottingham team visit for the second time in five weeks. Following last season, when Nottingham found themselves too close to the relegation dogfight for comfort the team has made an excellent start currently sitting in fifth place. Wins against Bedford (19-10), Plymouth (17-24), Yorkshire Carnegie (26-20) and Cornish Pirates (13-28) have been helped along by the try scoring abilities of back row Brett Wilson with four to his name and the boot of fly half Will Maisey.

Nottingham’s three losses to date have shown a degree of inconsistency not reflective of their winning performances. A first loss of the season at home to Jersey must have been somewhat frustrating following such a positive start. A heavy 55-16 away defeat to Worcester has been somewhat tempered by a very credible 13-27 loss to title contenders Bristol.

When the two teams met in the British & Irish Cup in October Moseley won 22 – 14 courtesy of tries from Nile Dacres, Joe Carpenter and Sam Brown. The game was significant for Moseley in that it was their first competitive win of the season with a squad that was probably one of the youngest Moseley have fielded at Billesley Common.

An impressive first half from Moseley saw them take a 17-0 lead into half time. Nottingham came out after the break on the attack with two tries within three minutes before the substitution of a few wise Moseley heads helped to close the game down.

Last season the two teams met in Championship rugby with the home team triumphant on both occasions. The win at Meadow Lane guaranteed Nottingham’s Championship status for another season.

Sat 9th November 2013

Moseley

29 – 15

Nottingham

Fri 18th April 2014

Nottingham

29 – 24

Moseley

This weekend Moseley need to build on the momentum given them by the two wins against London Scottish and Doncaster and start to turn Billesley Common into a place other teams will not want to visit. A high intensity performance from the pack is essential to give Sam Olver another chance to show how astute his tactical game can be, while hopefully giving some of the pace players attacking opportunities. 

Games against Nottingham are always entertaining and this one should be no different.