1st XV Match Preview V Cambridge (A) Sat 11/11/2017 

by Glyn Barlow

Having completed their first back to back wins of the season last Saturday the Birmingham Moseley team will travel to Cambridge this weekend with renewed belief and confidence.

Despite the positive result there should be no complacency against a team just one place below them in the league.

Last season Birmingham Moseley set a number of club league records when they beat Cambridge 72-14 at home. Later in the season it was an altogether tougher game which saw the Midlands outfit win 30-39. Cambridge ended a difficult campaign just one place above relegation, thankful that only two teams suffered the drop last season due to the knock on effect of London Welsh’s demise.

So far this season Cambridge have enjoyed a far better start with an opening day win over Fylde 12-25, being followed up with a 16-20 victory at Caldy and two impressive results against Rosslyn Park 50-23 & Ampthill 7-8. Their four wins do not, however, do the team justice in terms of how competitive they are. If narrow losses to Loughborough Students (9-14), Old Elthemians (28-29), Plymouth Albion (17-10) and Hull Ionians last week (27-21) gone their way they could be sitting in second place at the moment.

To improve their league position this season Cambridge have recruited an number of players including Back row (and coach) Darren Fox from Peterborough Lions, wing Ashley Elvers from Stourbridge, second row Rob Conquest from Darlington Mowden Park and scrum halves Pierre Peres from Bury St Edmunds, Lewis John-Baker from Old Northamptionians & Cameron Keenan from Olney plus Ampthill prop Henry Peck.

If Birmingham Moseley are to succeed this weekend they will need to find ways to overcome one of the meanest defences in the league. Cambridge have only conceded 13 tries at home so far, with almost half of them coming against Coventry.

Certainly last Saturday the signs were there that the team had found form again. The re-introduction of the King/Molenaar centre combination worked wonders in defence, combined with Mike Penn’s return at the back. The centres also proved to be more than a handful for the Loughborough midfield with Greg picking up a welcome brace of tries on his return from injury, and Tim chipping in with one of his own.

With Jacques Le Roux and the aforementioned Tim Molenaar leading the charge with ball in hand a positive intent, somewhat missing in previous weeks, was evident throughout the squad. There were still some areas for the coaches to focus on improving. They will have been frustrated that Loughborough picked up a soft try near the end and perhaps the team could have been more clinical in exploiting the numerical advantage gained through the Loughborough red card. On the whole, however, a big step forward, let’s hope they can keep the momentum going this week.