1st XV Match Preview V Bedford Blues (Away) Sat 26/02/2011 

THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW- by Joe Heaton

  

 

Moseley v Bedford

Saturday 26th February 3.00pm @ Goldington Road

 

Briefly back home from the potentially exhausting midweek re-arranged visit to Northern Ireland to play Ulster Ravens, the Moseley players will face a third consecutive away match, this time against Bedford, the Championship runners-up, but thankfully in the somewhat less pressurised environment of the fifth round of the B&I Cup.

 

In this season’s Championship Moseley lost to Bedford, both home and away:

25th September 2010 Bedford 41 Moseley 12

4th December 2010 Moseley 15 Bedford 22

 

The B&I Cup is a semi-professional northern-hemisphere competition, which took place for the first time last season. Twenty four teams compete:

 

12 teams from the RFU Championship

6 top clubs from the Principality Premiership

3 Irish Provinces represented by ‘A’ teams

3 Scottish sides, top clubs from the Scottish Premiership

The teams are divided into four pools of six, playing over five weekends during the Autumn International and Six Nations Windows, with the semi-finals taking place on 23rd April and 7th May respectively.

 

Moseley joined Bedford, London Welsh, Neath, Swansea and Ulster in Pool C.

 

Yesterday saw Moseley win away at Ulster 24 – 26 with an impressive performance to secure their place in the B&I Cup Quarter finals.

 

At the end of the first four (out of five) preliminary rounds the position is:

 

Pool C

  

 

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

Diff

BP

Pts

Adj

Bedford (Qualified)

4

4

0

0

136

51

85

2

18

0

Moseley (Qualified)

4

4

0

0

102

85

17

2

18

0

Neath

4

2

0

2

64

69

-5

2

10

0

Ulster

4

1

0

3

109

128

-19

3

7

0

London Welsh

3

1

0

2

64

79

-15

2

6

0

Swansea

4

0

0

4

55

118

-63

2

2

0

 

 

Last Saturday in the final match of the Championship, Bedford beat Plymouth away 24-27 whilst Moseley lost 34-13 away to Esher, the players not distinguishing themselves but at least they scored two tries.

 

It will be rather more difficult for Moseley, than Bedford, to concentrate on this Cup match with the Championship relegation play-off matches starting in a fortnight’s time, for the stakes are so great. Bedford merely will be playing towards the Championship, having already secured the runners –up slot.

 

Bedford RFC was founded in 1886 by the amalgamation of Bedford and Bedford Swifts. Both clubs had close connections with Bedford and Bedford Modern Schools that had (and still have) associations with several of the Oxbridge Colleges. It was not surprising therefore that the new club chose light blue and dark blue for their colours. Bedford has played on its ground in Goldington Road for over one hundred years and, during that time, thirty two Bedford players have been awarded international caps

 

The Blues modern history is similar to Moseley’s, also having been in administration. When the leagues were introduced in 1987, Bedford was placed in Division 2. The club was promoted to Division 1 in 1989 and thus entered the Championship on its formation at the start of last season, finishing 4th. The Blues are managed by Mike Rayer, a former player with the club.