1st XV Match Preview V Cambridge (A) Sat 28/01/2017 

 

by Glyn Barlow

Following the disappointment of losing their unbeaten home record last weekend Birmingham Moseley travel east to take on Cambridge this Saturday.

Hopefully the team can put down the poor last 20 minutes against Ampthill to a combination of a lack of game time with the Blaydon match being postponed and a somewhat disruptive week of preparation due to off field developments and return to winning ways.

The two teams last met at Billesley Common in October when all sorts of club league records tumbled. The 72-14 win was the highest league score, and winning margin, for the club while the eleven tries scored was also a record. With a disappointing away record of just over 50% that match could have little bearings on this weeks fixture.

Since that game Cambridge have progressed to 11th place with wins over Macclesfield (26-20), Hull Ionians (57-31) and Blaydon (14-17). In recent weeks they have run Ampthill, Old Albanian and Darlington Mowden Park close and can be excused for feeling they are unlucky not to have a greater points haul to their name. Based on recent form Birmingham Moseley can expect to be facing a very different team from the one they dominated earlier in the season.

Leading the resurgence have been wing Matt Hema with 9 tries and centre James Ayrton and wing Lawrence Hutchinson with 8, showing the team has a potent threat when the ball gets out to the backline.

Last weekend despite picking up a four try bonus point the team succumbed to a 42-27 loss at Loughborough Students. Having led at half time 22-19 the Students stepped up a gear to dominate the second half. With this reversal fresh in their minds and their heaviest defeat of the season at Billesley still probably frustrating them we can expect Cambridge to be aiming for an impressive performance at home this week.

For Birmingham Moseley the disappointment of the Ampthill loss can be tempered by some positive points. Mike Penn literally stepped forward from the full back to fly half position and many a casual observer would have been surprised that it was not his normal berth. In addition Charles Baffour and Matt Probert making their first league appearances for the team acquitted themselves admirably.

Unfortunately in the end the team were unable to counter the catch and drive ploy from the big Ampthill eight which proved to be very costly. Given them chance to set the maul and find momentum forward it was then always going to be difficult to halt progress to the try line.

Currently sitting in fifth place, due to last weekend loss and the postponed Blaydon, game it is vital the team secure a win this weekend if they want to continue the challenge on second place.