1st XV Match Preview V Ealing Trailfinders (h) Fri 16/10/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

This week we see the return of Friday night lights to the Common as Moseley take on Ealing in a game which both teams will be targeting as one of the must win ones of the season.

Currently standing just one place and two points apart in the league a win will prove to be a significant morale booster to the team that prevails. With both having only chalked up one win so far Ealing have achieved there eleventh place courtesy of securing two more losing bonus points.

But the points and position of Ealing only tell half the story as they just missed out on an opening weekend win at Rotherham 24-23, succumbed to Yorkshire Carnegie in a high scoring match 40-28, beat Cornish Pirates convincingly (28-17) and gave high flyers Bristol a big scare only going down 21-26.

How different an Ealing team this outfit appears compared to their last Championship season in 2013-14 when they started their campaign with heavy losses to the likes of Rotherham (79-9), Scottish (13-44), Leeds (64-3) and went until round 10 before securing their first victory.

During that season Moseley & Ealing met four times in league and cup, as they will again this season, with Moseley winning three of the encounters including both league fixtures.

Fri 1st Nov 2013

League

Ealing

6 – 15

Moseley

Fri 6th Dec 2013

Cup

Moseley

28-10

Ealing

Fri 13th Dec 2013

Cup

Ealing

21-18

Moseley

Sat 25th Jan 2014

League

Moseley

22 – 12

Ealing

 

Clearly Ealing learnt quickly from their first experience of level two rugby and stormed back after one season in National League One winning 27 of their 30 fixtures while amassing over 1,000 points.

Not underestimating the challenges ahead the club recruited strongly during the summer bringing in the likes of former Moseley players fly half Tristan Roberts from London Welsh & centre Joe Munro from Nottingham, second row Nathan Hannay from Yorkshire Carnegie, wing James Stephenson from Worcester , England 7s players Callum Wilson on the wing and Sam Stanley at fly half, No8 Chris York from Newcastle Falcons, prop Michael Holford from Nottingham and former Bristol stalwart Iain Grieve in the back row.

The new faces join some familiar to Moseley supporters in former captain Andy Reay, currently doubling up as strength & conditioning coach, and Paul Spivey. In addition Moseley will have to contain the potent strike force that is National One record try scorer winger Phil Chesters.

For Moseley to succeed in this game they need to address a number of areas of game management, not least in the area of discipline. Despite what may be considered about referees interpretations players need to read the warning signs and modify behaviour accordingly, you cannot hope to win games with players sitting on the side-lines.

The team has showed it is capable of impressive effort and skill levels, they need to ensure this is maintained for 80 minutes. Let’s hope this week they can deliver a positive result.