by Glyn Barlow
Well if you were looking for one of the toughest ways to test your new squad’s mettle then a trip to three times European, four times PRO12 Champions Leinster in their own back yard is a pretty good way to do it.
Fresh and rested from the impressive win over Principality Premiership heavyweights Ebbw Vale Moseley straddle the Irish Sea to play the full blown Leinster side, not the A team who compete in the British & Irish Cup mind you.
New coach Leo Cullen will be urging his side to improve on last week’s 21 – 24 win over Ulster which saw the men in blue and white turn the game around following a half time 14-5 deficit. With this week’s game being the last pre-season fixture before Leinster start their PRO12 campaign away at Edinburgh it’s a safe bet that they are not viewing the fixture as anything but a full on opportunity to get battle hardened.
As ever with an Irish team we can expect a tough effective pack of forwards in an eight that can call on B&I Lions Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brian feeding ball to danger men like Jonny Sexton, Rob Kearney and the evergreen Gordon Darcey.
While it’s unlikely all the big guns will be thrown into this fixture the impressive strength in depth of the Leinster squad means it would be easy for them to select two teams who could grace many a Premiership side.
For Moseley the trip to Ireland provides an ideal opportunity to further bond together the new squad which showed such entertaining promise against the Steelmen.
It’s been some time since Moseley supporters were treated to seven tries and let’s hope it’s a foretaste of things to come. Many of the new signings like Aaron Pinches, Charley Foley and Rhys Williams gave indications they could be very good acquisitions while Glyn Hughes looks even more accomplished at fly half than when he last played for Moseley. It was also very heartening to see established players like Greg King and Sam Brown relishing their chance to play attacking rugby.
As is the case with pre-season games there were pointers to areas that the coaches need to fine tune and they will not have been happy to concede five tries, so we can assume defensive drills have been on the agenda this week.
Let’s hope the guys make the most of the trip to hit the ground running when league action starts on the 4th.
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