1st XV Match Preview V Doncaster (a) Sat 28/11/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

This week we return to league action following phase one of the British & Irish Cup and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag for Moseley.

Following an opening cup weekend win of Ealing Moseley travelled to Ireland for what was always going to be a tough encounter. Unfortunately it proved more painful than expected as they suffered a 55-12 loss against a very focussed and committed Leinster outfit.

In hindsight it was always going to be a game where the two teams take to the pitch with different motivations. While it would be wrong to suggest that the Moseley players were not playing for a win realistically the cup is not the priority when league position is all important and to come through relatively unscathed is a win in itself. For the Leinster A players the cup represents the ideal opportunity for fringe squad members to press a claim for a PRO12 place and beyond, so they would always be playing to 100% of their potential.

While Moseley were across the water this week’s opponents Doncaster were beating another Irish team Connacht at home 22-5, following the previous weeks draw with Jersey. These two results come on the back of an excellent start to their league campaign that sees the club currently in third place curtesy of wins against Nottingham (30-36), Jersey (31-27), Ealing (23-17), Cornish Pirates (28-11), London Scottish (19-10) and most impressively Bristol (27-39).

In the Knights bid for play off rugby this season they have brought a number of impressive players to the club including hooker Ted Stagg from Plymouth along with fly half Declan Cusack, England Sevens scrum half Sam Edgerley, Number nine Michael Heaney from Ulster, Cardiff Blues outside half Simon Humberstone, number eight Ollie Steadman from London Welsh and Coventry winger Will Hurrell.

Moseley and Doncaster met twice last season with unusually the away team triumphing on both occasions

Sat 15th November 2014

Doncaster

13 – 28

Moseley

Fri 6th March 2015

Moseley

17-20

Doncaster

 

If Moseley are to get any return from this game they will need to ensure the defence is operating at full efficiency from the first minute as the two cup games have exhibited a depressing weakness to allow scores early on with the first half hour of each game yielding a total of 50 points against.

Let’s hope the switch back to league focus can take us back to the form prior to the cup break that saw 5 point wins over Ealing and Cornish Pirates.