1st XV Match Preview V Ealing Trailfinders (a) Sat 23/01/2016 

by Glyn Barlow

Moseley travel to Ealing this Saturday with a realistic chance of qualifying for the quarter finals of the B&I Cup.

Moseley currently stand on 15 points in Pool 1, currently 5th highest of the pool runners up behind Pirates (18 points), Jersey (17) and Munster A (16) equal on points with London Scottish who have a better points difference.

With Pirates away to London Welsh, Jersey away to Doncaster, and Munster A & London Scottish playing each other a win in London could put Moseley right back in contention for one of the three runners up spots.

Of at least equal, if not more importance is the fact that this game provides a dress rehearsal for the two teams meeting in February in what could be a massively important league game for both. The winner of this cup game will certainly benefit from a boost of confidence going forward into the Championship campaign once again.

Reflecting on last weekend it’s probably fair to say we haven’t seen a more accomplished team than Leinster A at Billesley Common this season. The Irishmen played with such pace and precision in the first half that unfortunately Moseley were unable to live with them. The clinical attack was probably on the cards, as Leinster have amassed by far the largest points-for in all pools to date (197 with only 68 against).

It’s very much to Moseley’s credit that they didn’t just capitulate at half time when 7-35 down, but fought back to secure an all-important bonus point for scoring four tries. That three of the tries were scored by Moseley’s wings shows that the cutting edge is there. If the defence steps up this weekend then Moseley can do well. On the credit side the oft stuttering lineout performed admirably, which must have pleased new coach Louis Deacon.

While Moseley entertained Leinster A Ealing’s game against Rotherham was called off due to pitch issues in Yorkshire. With regulations stating all pool games should have kicked off by 2.00pm this Saturday its currently unclear how this backlog will be resolved in time, although it will have no bearing on final pool outcome.

So far Ealing have yet to secure a cup win having lost to Leinster at home 10-36 and away 45-13, Rotherham 12-48 and Moseley 37-31. The latter result in addition to Moseley’s home league win 35-25 will mean the Londoners will be doubly determined to secure their first cup win and avenge Moseley’s brace of victories. It’s going to be no easy ride then this weekend and it will be interested to see how both teams approach selection with one eye on the league resumption.

For Moseley a win on Saturday would be a morale boosting result plus qualification for the quarter finals a real recognition of the whole squad’s efforts this season.