1st XV Match Preview V London Scottish (a) Fri 04/09/2015 

 

by Glyn Barlow

The appetisers are over and now it’s time for the main course to be served.

Moseley face a tough start to their Championship campaign with a visit to London Scottish this Friday. Having finished last season in third place Scottish lost out to eventual champions Worcester in the semi-finals. We can be certain playoff rugby is again their target for 2015/16.

The season sees a relatively stable Scottish squad supplemented by the addition of sevens experts Jason Harries and Freddie Clarke from Carmarthen and England sevens respectively, centre Drew Locke from Jersey, second row Will Carrick-Smith from Exeter and hooker Tyrone Moran from Leinster.

In pre-season Scottish notched up a 21-7 win over fellow Championship side Rotherham in their only friendly match, although they have been training against London Irish and the Tongan national team, so they will be used to a few hard hits.

Last season the two teams met twice with honours even

Sat 8th Nov 2014

Moseley

16 – 9

London Scottish

Sat 21st Feb 2015

London Scottish

35 – 3

Moseley

For Moseley to succeed away from home they will need to be wary of the threat Scottish pose out wide by the likes of ex Moseley wing Matt Williams and Miles Mantella while finding a way to contain a strong pack which includes powerhouse back rows Mark Bright and Chevvy Pennycook.

And what of Moseley’s preparations? Well pre-season has proved as enigmatic as ever in providing supporters with a clear indication of prospects. Good pre-season performances against Stourbridge and Ebbw Vale were followed last week by a heavy defeat at Leinster. But let’s put the last game in some context the Leinster squad included 11 internationals including 82 cap Gordon D’Arcy. Indeed the Irish squad management were in attendance to run their eye over some prospects for their World Cup side, so it was never going to be anything but at a level of intensity far greater than your normal Championship fixture.

Let’s hope the result doesn’t have a detrimental effect on moral and that the squad re-focus back to the good work that saw them defeat Principality Premiership runners-up Ebbw Vale handsomely 49-31.