THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW – By Joe Heaton
Moseley v Aberavon
Pre-Season Friendly, Saturday 21st August
Kick off 3.00pm at Billesley Common
Pre-season practice matches rarely generate much interest, other than to enjoy the late summer sunshine and to have a first look at the club’s newly recruited reinforcements. Saturday’s match is different for two reasons.
Firstly it provides an opportunity for the Moseley players to test themselves against Aberavon one of the leading club sides in Wales. While a number of our players have picked up the usual pre-season training knocks Ian Smith should have a couple more of the twelve who missed the Cambridge fixture to integrate into the squad.
Secondly it sees the welcome return of yet another old Moseley fixture which sadly had been lost with the advent of league rugby in the 1980’s and the loss of our numerous very competitive Anglo Welsh fixtures. The recent establishment of the British & Irish Cup last season re introduced the possibility of such fixtures and Moseley played Aberavon away in a Pool match in February. Although beaten 10-0 by the Wizards in a close game in dreadful weather, the typical rugby hospitality we received was excellent and was a poignant reminder of some of the rugby ethos which may have been lost with the march of professionalism
Last season Aberavon finished fifth in the fourteen team WRU Principality Premiership club table, behind Neath, Swansea, Newport & Pontypridd and immediately above Llanelli and Cardiff. For those not familiar with the geography of West Wales, Aberavon is on the coast very close to the steelmaking town Port Talbot in West Glamorgan.
The Cambridge game last Saturday provided a useful tough first run out, and certainly showed that the East Anglian side will again be a force in ND1 this season. From a Moseley perspective much will have been learnt regarding how the various combinations and moves developed on the practice field will work in the heat of battle.
Particularly pleasing was the scoring of four tries by this season’s new signings, an early indication of the attacking threat these players bring to the team. So Billesley Common gets to view the new Moseley 2010/11 vintage for the first time on Saturday. Whatever the result, the coaches will learn a lot, players will become fitter and the ethos of rugby and its unique camaraderie will have been renewed.
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