by Glyn Barlow
Moseley travel to Goldington Road in eleventh place, seven points clear of Plymouth Albion with their opponents Bedford just five points ahead of them.
While Moseley will be going all out for a vital win you can be sure that Bedford are also targeting at least four points from the game. With a maximum fifteen points available from the last three games (thank goodness rugby hasn’t adopted the Formula One model of double points for the last round) Bedford, twelve points ahead of Plymouth, are still not yet home and dry themselves. Indeed mathematically Doncaster could still be drawn down into the dogfight as well.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves Moseley have a big enough task on their hands on Saturday just trying to overcome the Blues.
Following the first double over Bedford in nearly twenty years last season (13-26 & 24-13) things didn’t go according to plan earlier this season when Bedford took the victory at Billesley 15-23. As has all too often been the case Moseley suffered from a slow start which could not be turned around by a second half rally.
Since the two teams last met Bedford have struggled to find winning ways, their only two victories coming from a visit of Doncaster the week after the Moseley game (35-29) and against Plymouth in February (38-8). A run of five losses has seen them go down to Jersey (17-3), Worcester (17-32), Yorkshire Carnegie (15-8), Cornish Pirates (21-31) and Bristol (38-14). All hard fought games which the Blues will feel somewhat frustrated to have only picked up one point from.
Bedford’s cause has been strengthened in recent weeks by the return of scrum half Luke Baldwin, a former Blues player, on loan from Bristol. Baldwin is joined at Goldington Road by former Auckland Blues fly half/full back Baden Kerr.
Clearly the Blues will be keen to end the season with a flourish and push back up to mid table respectability and will be looking to emulate their Billesley Common performance. For Moseley’s part they will be of a similar mind-set to Bedford having also lost their last five games, despite heartening performances against Rotherham & Doncaster. Indeed one positive aspect they can take into the game is that they finally seem to have found their try scoring touch with two four try bonus points in the last two outings against high flying Nottingham & Rotherham.
If they can couple this with a return to some of their better defensive performances of the season then a positive result could be on the cards. More than anything we need some of the more experienced heads in the team like Mike Powell & Anthony Carter to take a firm grip on the performance and ensure the team plays a shrewd tactical game. Ensure the pack secures quick ball and push the game into Bedford’s half and hopefully the tries will come while making sure the Blues are unable to mount a serious threat from long range.
Regardless of the various permutations on league status this is bound to be the usual full on game between to old rivals and as ever an entertaining one to watch.
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