1st XV Match Preview V Rotherham (a) Sun 20/12/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

It’s one down, one to go in this Cup double header and Moseley travel to Yorkshire with a win in the bag.

It’s probably a safe assumption that Rotherham at home will be the usual tough encounter as they look to make amends for the 26-10 result which came on the back of two league losses. Clearly the Titans will not want to go back into league rugby for the local derby against Yorkshire Carnegie on the back of a further defeat.

For Moseley this game is equally important from the aspect of carrying momentum into their Boxing Day encounter with Bedford and also for pushing for a cup quarter final spot along with the potential financial benefit it could bring. Currently sitting in second place in Pool 1on 10 points Moseley have a real chance to progress further.

And Moseley will make the trip with plenty of confidence from the way they played at Billesley Common. Starting the game into the infamous Billesley Breeze they played an intelligent game underlined by excellent defence to hold Rotherham to a 5 – 5 half time score. Long standing followers of rugby at the Common would be nodding their heads as they realised that without a more significant lead the Titans were going to find it tough playing into the gale force wind.

And so it proved as Moseley played the wind to secure territory which allowed them to open up in attack and secure a bonus point victory.

One of the most heartening aspects of the win was the fact that this was quite possibly one of the best all round team performances of the season, suggesting that the frustrating start to the season due to the lack of time together as a semi-pro team is beginning to be overcome. While everyone gave their best the performance of the back row was exceptional in all aspects coupled with one of Scott Tomie’s best shifts at No2 plus an impressive debut for Jorden Onojaife.

Indeed with so many players seizing the opportunity to stake a claim for a starting XV shirt this week will provide some interesting selection decisions. Will the coaches give everyone who played a second opportunity or will they look for further rotation.

Without the wind factor on Sunday Moseley will need to ensure they start scoring points early in the game and if this is coupled with a repeat of their defensive showing then they could do very well indeed.

From a mind-set point of view two wins over Rotherham in two weeks would give the team a great boost to take into Boxing Day.

As this is the last game before the big day let’s also take an opportunity to wish players, management and supporters a Happy Christmas.