1st XV Match Preview V Macclesfield (H) Sat 25/03/2017 

By Glyn Barlow

This Saturday Birmingham Moseley look to shake of the disappointment of a home defeat last time out against Plymouth Albion when Macclesfield Blues are the visitors to Billesley Common.

The two teams met at Priory Road back in November when Birmingham Moseley just scraped home 15-17 through an eightieth minute converted penalty try, having trailed from the thirteenth minute of the game.

Since that game Macclesfield have suffered a terrible run of form losing every game until finally recording a win over Loughborough Students two weeks ago. The Students game brought to an end a particularly painful run that saw defeats to Rosslyn Park (59-28), Old Albanian (19-50), Hull Ionians (45-21) and Darlington Mowden Park (48-12).

The blues have struggled both in attack and defence this season with the lowest points for total in the league coupled with the highest points against. A notable exception to the points scoring drought has been back row Ryan Parkinson who has picked up ten tries.

Macclesfield currently sit at the bottom of National One on 24 points, 15 behind Hull Ionians. With only two teams being relegated this season due to London Welsh’s demise Macclesfield must set their sights on overhauling Blaydon who are 17 points above them. With 25 points up for grabs between now and the end of the season it’s still game on and Birmingham Moseley will face a team going all out for survival in the league, a situation many Moseley players will be familiar with, but now faced from a different perspective.

When you add the all-out performance required to stave off execution, coupled with a feeling they should have won at home, we can expect the Blues to come out all guns blazing. Remembering the problems the team got themselves into against Plymouth, sitting back and allowing Albion to build a 26 point lead in the first quarter, then Birmingham Moseley will need to focus 100% this weekend and not allow Macclesfield any room to build an attack early on.

We cannot underestimate the improvement in a team who has been able to turn around a 76-30 loss at Loughborough in November into a 42-38 win over the Students two weeks ago.

Reflecting on the Plymouth game Birmingham Moseley will be looking to build on the positives that saw them score four well taken tries to at least pick up a try bonus point. If they can replicate the periods of the game that saw them shut out Albion and turn on the pressure themselves for full 80 minute game (or 100 if you’re Welsh or French) then we could see them rack up their eighteenth win of the season.

Let’s finish March in style before we move into the last month of the season.