1st XV Match Preview V Bedford (h) Sat 26/12/2015 

by Glyn Barlow

The festive celebrations also herald the return of league rugby with the visit of Bedford this Boxing Day.

For Moseley the previous two weeks of cup rugby have proved to be very satisfactory with a rare double over Rotherham Titans. Following the home win on the 12th a changed team travelled up to Clifton Lane where they overcome an early 16-0 deficit to secure a hard fought 19-20 win.

As well as putting Moseley in a strong position to secure a quarter final berth, with currently the second best runners up points total across the pools, the win(s) will have given the team an excellent shot of confidence. Having showed glimpses of their capabilities during the first half on the season the back to back wins will give them vital momentum and belief as they re-enter the league campaign.

Moseley’s opponents Bedford have enjoyed mixed fortunes during the last two weeks against Bristol. A 52-3 hammering away on the first weekend was impressively turned around last Saturday to secure a 34-17 win. The Blues managed to score five tries while effectively shutting down a potent Bristol attack.

The two teams met early season at Goldington Road where Bristol ran out winners in a high scoring, close fought encounter 38-32 with both teams gaining a try scoring bonus point. For Moseley this was a game where they let Bedford pull out a significant early lead, which they were just unable to peg back. The slow starts of early days are hopefully now something the team has worked through as they will need to contain the attack minded Blues from the first whistle.

Since the teams last met Bedford have gone on to secure fourth place in the league with wins over Nottingham 28-19, Rotherham 46-28, Ealing 21-23, and Yorkshire Carnegie 22-21. The campaign has veered off track a little in the period between the first two sets of cup action when they went down 32-31 to Cornish Pirates and 13-18 to Doncaster.

The two cup games will have presented some interesting selection questions for the coaching team at Billesley Common with a number of players pressing hard for a starting XV shirt. Scott Tolmie’s two tries in two games will have got Adam Caves looking to impress in pre-Christmas training while Charlie Foley’s assured performance in the home game will have opened up a question as to if he should start in the 10 or 15 shirt.

With Moseley having not secured a win over Bedford since the double in the 2013/14 season the team will be more than keen to come away with victory to take into 2016.