1st XV Match Preview V Bedford (h) Sat 03/01/2015 

 

THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW by Glyn Barlow

Following Moseley’s excellent win at Rotherham we welcome Bedford to Billesley for the first game of 2015.

What better way to open up a new year than to entertain a traditional rugby club like Bedford. Over many seasons there have been titanic battles between the two clubs, which it has to be said have favoured the East Midlanders in recent seasons.

Having been semi-finalists on every occasion since the Championship playoffs came into being Bedford’s fortunes faltered somewhat last season when they finished in 9th place. No less a difficult season so far sees Bedford (10th) with the same number of wins as Moseley (9th) at present. Bedford’s wins coming against Plymouth 22-31, Jersey 25-20 and Yorkshire Carnegie 15-10.

In an effort to move the club back into the top half of the league this season Bedford have recruited some significant new players. In the backs Tongan international Viliami Hakalo joins from Tao Saracens in Tonga. Hakalo’s rugby pedigree is in no doubt when you consider he is the cousin of Billy & Mako Vunipola. The Tongan is joined by back row forwards Josh Buggea from Worcester, Nick Felton-Wells previously on loan from Saracens & Justin Blanchet from Exeter, props James Currie from Leeds, Camilo Parilli-Ocampo from Ealing & Billy Moss from London Welsh, fly half Steffan Jones from Newport Gwent Dragons and second row Harry Wells from Leicester.

To succeed on Saturday Moseley will need to nullify the Bedford danger men in Blues kicking stalwart James Pritchard and try scoring wing Dean Adamson.

Last season Moseley achieved a rare double over Bedford for the first time in nearly twenty years.

Fri 15th Nov 2013

Bedford

13 – 26

Moseley

Sat 1st Mar 2014

Moseley

24 – 13

Bedford

For Moseley to push back up to the levels of last season’s 7th place they need to start turning Billesley Common into a ground where teams leave empty handed. There is no better time to start that than with the first game of 2015 particularly as 6th placed Cornish Pirates are only 2 points away.

Let’s hope for a happy and prosperous year ahead.