1st XV Match Preview V Blackheath (H) Sat 07/10/2017 

By Glyn Barlow

Birmingham Moseley go into this week’s game against Blackheath encouraged by a convincing 19-38 away win last Saturday at Old Albanian.

A series of stuttering performances to date were well and truly put behind them as the team ran in six tries. Following previous games being characterised by reasonable starts which fell apart last Saturday proved to be the reverse as a seven all half time score was well and truly eclipsed as the team scored two tries in three minutes on their way to amassing 31 points in 40 minutes.

So far this season Blackheath have got off to a flying start winning four of their five games. Victories came over Plymouth 32-31, Rosslyn Park 6-25, Ampthill 16-15 and Hull Ionians 46-13. Their only defeat was at the hands of Coventry 37-10 leaving them in fourth place in the league, six points clear of Birmingham Moseley.

In preparation for the new season Blackheath brought in a number of new players including Wales U20 scrum half Josh Davies from Ealing, England Counties fly half Joe Tarrant from Ampthill, back row players Harry Bate from Old Albanian, Malta international Mark Davey & Hugh McCormick-Houston from Canterbury along with second rows Neale Patrick from London Scottish & Chukwuma Osazuwa (good luck Lee!) a Nigerian international from Chinnor. In the front row hooker Matt Miles moved to Well Hall from Old Albanian along with a face familiar to Moseley supporters in prop Danny Herriott who made 18 appearances for the club while on dual registration from Saints.

Fly half Tarrent has made an immediate impact at Blackheath, leading the points scoring with 42, although it’s fair to say that, compared to league position, Blackheath have not been the most prolific team at scoring points, their 129 to date (4 more than Birmingham Moseley) being 8th highest in the league. To balance that the fourth lowest points against total suggests they are not an easy side to score against either.

The coaching team at Billesley Common will faces a number of interesting decisions this week. Having been forced into a number of changes due to availability and injuries last weekend the 22 fielded put on the best display of the season. Do you stick with a winning team or do you bring back some of the players missing last week? Perhaps not a bad dilemma to have.

We must be cautious of expecting the season to have turned a corner with the win in St Albans. This is still a new, and relatively young, squad who need time to find their combinations and become comfortable with each other. Last weekend will have been a great confidence booster, but have no doubt they face an even bigger challenge this week from the (other) men in red and black.

A win on Saturday will be just the stepping stone needed to continue the rebuilding, and begin the climb into the top of the table mix.