1st XV Match Preview V Worcester (h) Sat 17/01/2015 

THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW by Roger Hildreth

 

Another disappointing result last week with Moseley only coming away with a losing bonus point against Plymouth after struggling against a strong home pack.  However, this valuable point was sufficient to move Moseley back up to 9th place in the table, leap frogging Jersey who by all accounts were unlucky not to get anything from their home game against table leaders Bristol.

Moseley’s record now reads:

Played 11, Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 7, Bonus Points 4, Total Points 18.  This is the same number of points as Jersey but Moseley are above them in the table on the basis of numbers of games won with Moseley having won one more game than Jersey.

There can be no doubt that Worcester will pose a very stern test for Moseley’s small and inexpensively assembled squad.  Worcester, relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 2013/14 season, are currently lying second in the table with 50 points compared to Bristol’s 52.  Indeed the only league game that Worcester has lost to date was away at Bristol on the opening weekend of the season when the hosts triumphed 23 – 19.  Last week Worcester won comfortably at home against Cornish Pirates, crossing the whitewash on ten occasions to record a 62 – 26 win.  Indeed the game was all but over by half time with the score then standing at 43 – 7.

The last Moseley league game at Worcester on the 13th September resulted in a home win with the final score being 23 – 7.  Scott Tolmie scored Moseley’s sole try, converted by Caolan Ryan.  Determined resistance prevented Worcester recording a four try bonus point and if memory serves me right, Moseley finished the stronger of the two sides.

Fate saw Moseley drawn in the same Pool 3 as Worcester in the British and Irish Cup along with Munster and Nottingham.  Whilst Moseley has no further interest in this competition, Worcester are still very much in the hunt having won all six of their Pool games.  On the 25th October Moseley entertained Worcester going down 0 – 39 with the away team scoring 5 tries.  The return fixture on the 29th November was a closer affair with the final score being 31 – 12.  Worcester again scored 5 tries with Moseley scoring a brace in reply through scum half Alex Day (Dual Registered with Northampton) and flanker Joe Carpenter.

But there is no question that Worcester will be concentrating on gaining promotion back to the Premiership and will see this fixture as another step towards finishing in the play-off positions.  It is also quite possible that they are aiming to finish above Bristol in the Championship to gain a psychological advantage and it would be a very brave man to bet against both teams reaching the final play off.

However, Moseley’s lads will give there all as usual and a win is certainly not out of the question.  Who else remembers the 6th May 2000?*

 *For new and younger supporters this was the day that Moseley unexpectedly beat Worcester in the last game at Moseley’s previous home “The Reddings”.