1st XV Match Preview V Nottingham (a) Sun 07/12/2014 

by Glyn Barlow

Moseley make their last trip to Meadow Lane on Sunday for this British & Irish Cup clash, prior to Nottingham decamping to the Lady Bay Sports Ground in January.

While progress in the cup isn’t a possibility, and in fairness never was a priority the competition has given the club the opportunity to give some up and coming players a chance to show what they can do. As well as club signings such as Alex Foster, Louis Roach and Harry Hone last week wing Ed Sheldon debuted on loan from Thornbury, and we can expect more new faces keen to impress in the next couple of weeks.

Last Saturday a Moseley team, light on old boys and Championship level experience, left Sixways with their heads held high after an impressive performance and a very credible second half display which must have left Worcester a little uneasy until they finally closed the game out in the seventieth minute. Perhaps the young team were initially a little too respecting of a team of which nearly a quarter of the players were full internationals, to their credit they overcome this and took the game to the Warriors. Nobody can suggest they approached this as a meaningless match.

While Moseley were in Worcestershire Nottingham travelled across the seas to Munster and played out an almost mirror image of Moseley’s game with a strong first half performance before allowing Munster A to come back into the game and eventually win it 23-16.

The weekend’s results leave Moseley in third place in Pool 3 three points above Nottingham.

As is the way of the Cup nowadays the two teams have already met twice this season with one win apiece.

Saturday 18th Oct

B&I Cup

Moseley

22 – 14

Nottingham

Saturday 22nd Nov

Championship

Moseley

26 – 27

Nottingham

Two games which could be said to be more significant than most. The B&I cup win in October was of significance as it represented Moseley’s first competitive win of the season, and started a change of fortunes following one of the toughest series of opening season fixtures since promotion was won.

The second home game was one surrounded in more controversy than you would usually expect in a whole season. Officials decisions were to possibly play a greater influence on proceedings that player efforts; five yellow cards, a penalty try on the first offence near the line, and a try from what may have been a knock on (depending where you were standing and what colours you wore) left many focussing on what might have been. The truth however was that this was a game Moseley could have won, and tactically they should not have allowed themselves to get in the positions that led to the scores.

This Sunday the game has a few incentives for Moseley. Build upon the good second half at Worcester, keep the momentum developing towards the challenge of Munster A visiting Billesley and on to the resumption of the Championship against Rotherham after Christmas. There is also the opportunity to banish the disappointment of the Championship loss and take a psychological advantage into the away game at Lady Bay in March.

It should be the usual intense game between the two clubs.