1st XV Match Preview V London Scottish (a) Sat 21/02/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

The road trip continues this weekend with Moseley traveling to London for another tough assignment against third place Scottish.

Last weekend the team left Ashton Gate with heads held high despite a loss to Bristol. Indeed Moseley will have given Bristol supporters cause for concern as the half time whistle blew with the two sides tied on nineteen points apiece. Unfortunately the full time status of big spending Bristol began to take its toll after the break as the West County team pulled away.

Despite this Moseley managed to secure an important bonus point by scoring four tries, an achievement not many teams will be able to boast when taking on Bristol at home.

With Plymouth drawing with this week’s opponents Scottish and Doncaster winning at Pirates Moseley now stand in eleventh place two points behind the Yorkshiremen and seven ahead of Albion.  While, with seven games to go, it’s too early to start worrying unduly the team need to ensure that they take every point on offer so let’s hope they leave London with no regrets.

Moseley will already know that Scottish are beatable having already done so at Billesley in November (16 – 9). The result was significant as it represented Moseley’s first league win of the season. A hard fought forward battle was capped by a long range Drew Cheshire strike to bring long awaited success.

The last visit to the Athletic Ground was, however, less enjoyable as Moseley endured a 38-17 loss as Scottish secured a brace of wins last season. The team will be keen to do the same themselves in 2014/15.

Since the start of the New Year Scottish have had somewhat mixed fortunes with losses to Bristol and Nottingham to add to last week’s draw countered by wins against Carnegie, Bedford and Pirates.

To bolster their bid for a playoff spot Scottish have brought some new faces into their squad including Canadian international Connor Braid and Bristol hooker Jamie Stephenson, Harlequins  Centre Harry Sloan and back-row forward James Chisholm all on dual-registration agreements.

Leading the charge for Scottish, quite often literally this season, is number 8 Mark Bright who leads the Championship try scoring stats with 17. Not that Bright is alone in securing five pointers for the Londoners, last season’s Moseley Supporters Player of the Season Matt Williams and fellow winger Miles Mantella have seven apiece. The three are backed up with the boot of Peter Lydon who sits third in the Championship points scoring league.

Clearly with this points scoring capability it will be vital for Moseley to contain the back row in close quarters while ensuring Scottish are deprived of chances to send ball wide. In addition to this they need to maintain the try scoring touch found in Bristol, against one of the meanest defences in the league.

If Moseley can replicate the intensity which the displayed in the first half last weekend there is every chance that the drive up the league starts here.