1st XV Match Preview V Doncaster (h) Fri 06/03/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

With yet another free weekend of this stop start season behind us attention turns to what could be one of the most significant fixtures at Billesley for quite some time with 10th place Doncaster the visitors.

After the disappointment of the nature of the 35-3 loss away to London Scottish the team will be keen to put in a much improved performance. This desire is of course multiplied considerably by the position the team find themselves in with just six games left.

Standing in 11th place, just 3 points ahead of a much rejuvenated Plymouth Albion and 2 behind Doncaster the time for hoping it will just come good is past and only wins will ensure that the club sees next season in as a Championship outfit.

It’s worth a quick look at the remaining fixtures for the bottom three teams:

Week

Doncaster

Moseley

Plymouth

17

Moseley (A)

Doncaster (H)

Worcester (A)

18

London Scottish (A)

Nottingham (A)

Yorkshire Carnegie (H)

19

Nottingham (H)

Rotherham (H)

Cornish Pirates (A)

20

Rotherham (A)

Bedford (A)

Bristol (H)

21

Bedford (H)

Plymouth Albion (H)

Moseley (A)

22

Plymouth Albion (A)

Jersey (A)

Doncaster (H)

 Clearly there is no room for complacency for any of the teams, all face some tough opposition. With the advantage over Doncaster of three home fixtures it underlines why Moseley need to deliver at Billesley Common.

The second half of the Championship table this season is possibly tighter to call than it has been in a long time and it’s not inconceivable for the likes of Cornish Pirates, Jersey, Bedford and Yorkshire Carnegie to be dragged down into the uncomfortable area before the season is over.

In recent weeks the Knights have shown some good form with wins over Cornish Pirates (13-30) and Yorkshire Carnegie (29-16), along with credible performances against Bristol (12-27) and Worcester (25-5). Clearly if Moseley want to win this game they will need to take their performance up a good few levels from that delivered in Richmond. A key aspect for Moseley to succeed will be to ensure they do not provide the league’s leading points scorer Dougie Flockhart with kicking chances. Indeed the avoidance of penalties, and the yellow cards which have hurt the team at key times, must be a priority for the coaches. They will also need to develop some more creative ways to engineer tries against one of the meanest defences in the league.

The two teams last met in November where Moseley were the victors at Castle Park 28-13. On that day Sam Olver had one of his best performances in red and black scoring 23 of Moseley’s points in a game which went a long way towards his selection as the Greene King player of the month.

Since that encounter the Knights have bolstered their squad with the addition of dual registered back row Laurence Pearce and Hooker Harry Thacker from Leicester, Tongan international fly half Latiume Fosita, Fijian international hooker Viliame Veikoso and Welsh tight-head prop WillGriff John from Northlands in New Zealand.

This is indeed the sharp end of the season and the team need to ensure there are no regrets left on the pitch come 9.00pm on Friday. We also need all Moseley supporters to get behind the team and let them know we believe in them. This game, and the five that follow, will be be crucial in ensuring Moseley’s long term future, allowing the club to build on the field as they have been building off it.