1st XV Match Preview V Rotherham (h) Fri 27/03/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

With four games to go Moseley’s losing bonus point at Lady Bay sees them now five points ahead of Plymouth Albion. This week’s visit of Rotherham is a game that must be targeted as an opportunity for more.

Last week’s trip to Nottingham was a mix of positives, frustrations and missed opportunities. Very much on the plus side the team scored five tries for the first time this season with back row Ben Nutley scoring on his debut and wing Josh Skelcey bagging a brace.

On a less happy note the Moseley defence proved to be somewhat porous allowing Nottingham too many scoring opportunities to stretch the game away from the men in red and black.

While Moseley were at Nottingham Rotherham put up a valiant effort running league leaders Bristol close finally going down 25-27. The result and the outcome of Moseley’s game saw the Titans slip to fifth place in the league. Following Moseley’s win at Rotherham 22-26 on Boxing Day the Titans have enjoyed mixed fortunes with wins against Cornish Pirates (10-28), Yorkshire Carnegie (40-15), Bedford (34-19) and Doncaster (21-23) tempered with a draw against Jersey (20-20) and losses to Worcester (49-10), Plymouth (22-8) and Nottingham (19-28).

Since the two teams last met Rotherham have drafted in extra firepower in the form of dual registered England U20 captain and second row Charlie Ewels and hooker Tom Dunn both from Bath.

A familiar faces to Moseley supporters is prop Marshall Gadd, while Anthony Carter, Nile Dacres, Simon Gardiner, Craig Voisey and Head Coach Kevin Maggs are no strangers to Rotherham rugby.

Clearly Rotherham will see Fridays game as one that could take them back into playoff contention, coupled with a desire to gain revenge for their festive defeat, we can be sure the Titans will be fired up for this one.

It’s to be hoped that the Moseley guys are equally as motivated to succeed. If points can be secured this week (and on the trip to Bedford) then everything is set up for the visit of Plymouth to be an epic encounter. With Albion facing a derby match against Pirates followed by a visit from league leaders Bristol there will be no easy points on offer for the Devonians so Moseley must take any opportunities on offer.

To win this week Moseley must find a way to contain Plymouth’s prolific points scorer James McKinney and flying winger Michael Keating, while also being aware of the danger posed by the forwards through the likes of back row Jack Preece who is no stranger to the try line.

Moseley’s destiny is in their own hands and this weeks game may well be a key part of securing it, let’s ensure everyone gets behind the team to bring back some of the Friday fortress aspect of Billesley Common.