1st XV Match Preview V Jersey (a) Sat 06/02/2016 

by Glyn Barlow

Moseley travel to Jersey of the back of bitter disappointment following the loss to Nottingham last Saturday.

Possibly more troubling than the loss itself was the nature of how it came about. It was one of the most tentative, hesitant performances of the season. Whether this was down to players feeling the pressure of needing to win too much or some other reason the end result was unfortunately they failed to display anything like the skills they are capable of and never looked like worrying Nottingham.

Tactically the game played into Nottingham’s hands, selecting an all-out attacking back three and then not bringing them into play was baffling. Too often the team lacked width allowing Nottingham too much space to operate. Unfortunately nobody in Moseley colours was able to get the backline moving with anything approaching Dan Mugford’s skill and success rate.

To put this all into context the team have already shown us this season that they are capable of playing with far greater ability than this performance suggests. The coaches will have been looking to resolve any mind-set issues this week and ensure the team take to the field looking to attack Jersey at every opportunity.

While Moseley were entertaining Nottingham Jersey were finding life difficult at league leaders Bristol where they went down 35-12. Jersey currently occupy seventh spot in the league having won six and drawn one. One of those wins was against Moseley back in October where Moseley surrendered an early lead to end the game 18-29. While Moseley matched Jersey try for try discipline cost them dearly as they endured three yellow cards while Fly Half Brendon Cope slotted five penalties.

Since the encounter at Billesley Jersey have supplemented their squad with two loan players from Bath in England U20 internationals Rory Jennings at fly half and centre/full back Max Clarke plus lock Will Rowlands on loan from Wasps. Up front South African prop Simon Kerrod moved to the island from Eastern Province Kings along with Tongan International back row Uili Kolo’ofa’i and prop Oliver Tomaszczyk from Newcastle and lock Dave McKern from UC Vikings in Australia.

It’s clear that Moseley will face a big, hard hitting eight on Saturday and the pack will need to put in one of its best performances of the season to gain parity and any ascendance.

The team must take a belief onto the pitch that they can and will score more points than the opposition. If this is coupled by playing our key strike runners into spaces, giving them width to operate, then they can cause all sorts of problems. Couple this with tactical kicking that keeps the big Jersey pack away from operating in our 22 and a discipline that takes away penalty kicks to positions that allow lineouts leading to the, frustratingly difficult to defend, rolling maul near our line and Moseley may just be able to restore pride and secure vital points.