1st XV Match Preview V Loughborough Students (H) Sat 04/11/2017 

by Glyn Barlow

The Birmingham Moseley roller coaster ride continues this week with the visit of Loughborough Students to Billesley Common.

Feast and famine has been the name of the game recently and it proved to be the same last weekend when the team, for the third time in a row, brought back 5 league points from an away trip, admittedly not via one of the most convincing of performances.

A reasonable forward platform was again let down by defensive issues, which could have cost the game at the close were it not for fortune favouring the men in red and black over Fylde’s unlucky winger.

Such defensive lapses will need to be addressed rapidly if they are to contain a Loughborough Students team who ran up 58 points, and ran in nine tries, against Hull last weekend in only their second victory of this season.

A difficult campaign to date sees Loughborough currently sitting in 15th spot with their only other win to date coming in week two against Cambridge.

Along the way the team have suffered a few painful days with heavy losses to Plymouth Albion 28-49, Rosslyn Park 49-14, Ampthill 14-36 and Coventry 36-0. They will, however, feel a few results could have turned out kinder missing out against Darlington Mowden Park 33-23 and Caldy 26-31.

Is last week’s result an indication that the team are beginning to turn a corner? Birmingham Moseley certainly cannot ignore the signs.

Last season Birmingham Moseley completed the double over Loughborough with a comprehensive 47-19 home win, followed up by a much harder fought away win 20-29. As may be expected from a team biased towards youth, used to playing on an artificial surface, Loughborough will look to run the ball at every opportunity. Birmingham Moseley will need to starve the Students of any ball, while ensuring they play a tactically sound game pinning them back in their 22.

With only one win and a total of 8 points to show from five games to date at Billesley a change of fortune at home is long overdue and much needed. Looking ahead tough fixtures in Birmingham against Coventry and Plymouth Albion must be faced before the festive break so the team needs to learn quickly how to turn the Common into a venue nobody looks forward to visiting.

In this respect fortune is firmly in the hands of the squad and coaches, let us hope they grasp the opportunity to deliver on Saturday.