1st XV Match Preview V Nottingham (a) Sat 21/03/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

After yet another break in proceedings the Greene King IPA Championship commences again with Moseley making an unfamiliar trip to the Lady Bay Sports Ground to take on Nottingham.

This season Nottingham made the sensible decision to decamp from the hire of the Meadow Lane home of Notts County football team to set up base at their Lady Bay training ground. The move has given Nottingham the opportunity to build a rugby stadium in which they can start to develop sustainable income sources, a philosophy Moseley can certainly relate to. While facilities may be rudimentary at present we wish them well as they embark on their journey

Following what would be considered a fairly disappointing outcome last season when Nottingham finished in tenth place the team made a storming start to the current campaign climbing to third in the league. Recent results have gone against Nottingham seeing them slip to fifth place via five straight losses to Jersey (12-10), Worcester (3-58), Carnegie (43-14), Pirates (14-16) and Bristol (51-17). Standing just two points below the playoff positions you can be sure that they will be keen to reverse these fortunes on Saturday.

Moseley and Nottingham have already met three times this season with Moseley ahead 2-1 in terms of wins, however the two cup victories count for nothing compared to the one point league loss in December as Moseley just failed to claw back a result.

18th October

B&I Cup

Moseley

22 – 14

Nottingham

22nd November

Championship

Moseley

26 – 27

Nottingham

7th December

B&I Cup

Nottingham

26 – 27

Moseley

In the intervening period since that loss Nottingham have strengthened their squad with the signing of Prop George Porter and Centre Heath Stevens on loan from Worcester and centre Nick Carpenter on dual registration from Bath.

Since the last round of the league Moseley will have spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on the lost opportunity that was the Doncaster game. It’s probably fair to say that it was a match that Moseley should have won and was lost by one of the most lacklustre first half performances of the season. A lack of varying options of attack and kicking from hand left the team predictable and contained with relative ease by Doncaster. Lack of discipline also proved again to be costly with another yellow card hurting the team’s chances of competing, collectively these lapses must be cut out if the team are to pressurise the opponents for 80+ minutes.

With only four points separating Moseley from bottom place Plymouth it is vital that the team take points from every opportunity and they need to be targeting Saturday’s game as one that can be won. To do so though they need to considerably up their performance and we need some of the more experienced team members to step forward and start to control the game from the outset.

With the potential funding impact of a drop outside the Championship coupled with the fact that the club is poised to build on its status due to the stand and clubhouse development it’s probably not an over exaggeration to say that this team is playing not just for the 2015/16 Championship season but for the medium term future of Moseley as a club. Let’s hope the players & coaches can step up and secure the much needed points starting at Lady Bay on Saturday.

Things can be turned around, let’s get behind the team and cheer them to victory.