1st XV Match Preview V Plymouth Albion (Home) Sat 16/04/2011 

THE BIG MATCH PREVIEWby Glyn Barlow

  

Almost as loud as the cheer at the end of Sunday’s game was a collective sigh of relief that could be heard all the way back to Billesley Common. Moseley had secured another season of rugby in tier 2 of the English game!

 

But what a way to do so. Winning in our near neighbours’ back yard, revenge for Bees stealing a win in the first encounter of Pool C and securing our future. Not a bad afternoon’s work. However there is still one more game to enjoy and some unfinished business to attend to this weekend. Plymouth Albion remains the one team in pool C that Moseley has not beaten this season. The last three results between our clubs are;

 

30th October 2010

Moseley

22 - 36

Plymouth

5th February 2011

Plymouth

6 – 6

Moseley

11th March 2011

Plymouth

37 - 17

Moseley

 

The first game of Pool C was undoubtedly not the way Moseley would have wished to start the playoff campaign. The long trip to Devon for the Friday evening kick off did not seem to have affected our players as they dominated possession and territory for most of the 1st half only to find themselves 27 – 3 within the hour due to just a small number of errors which were ruthlessly exploited by the home team.

 

In that match Plymouth’s four tries were compounded by the accuracy of the boot of Alex Davies who kicked 17 points. However even the most die hard Plymouth supporters graciously admitted that the scoreline flattered their team and warned other clubs like Esher to be wary.

 

Plymouth became the first club to secure a place in the Championship with the early victory over Moseley and back to back wins against Birmingham & Solihull. Last week the momentum was lost with a 14 – 27 defeat to Esher, which in turn gave Esher the victory needed to avoid relegation. It could be surmised that having the pressure of relegation removed Plymouth may have been less focussed on the result than Esher.

 

This week any relaxation of focus will be consigned to history and it will be business as usual for Graham Dawe and his team.  Moseley supporters will be familiar with many of the faces in the Plymouth squad including Tom Skelding who played for Moseley over the period the club was promoted back into the then National Division 1. It may be unlikely that Tom will take part in the game having broken his thumb in recent weeks.

 

For Moseley this match represents an opportunity to reinforce the club’s worthiness of a place in the Championship, and for the players individually a further chance to prove to the management that they should be part of Moseley’s future plans.

 

The team will be keen to revert to the type of performance that delivered handsome victories over Esher and Bees. With both sides having the threat of relegation removed let us hope that they see this game as an opportunity to enjoy themselves and put on a display of positive rugby. This match could prove to be just the relief both clubs need from what has been a somewhat stressful season.