1st XV Match Preview V Cambridge (H) Sat 10/03/2018 

By Glyn Barlow

This Saturday Birmingham Moseley will be looking forward to a less chilly encounter as Cambridge visit Billesley Common.

Last weekend’s win over Loughborough Students should not be underestimated when you consider the challenge undertaken just to get a team to the ground, never mind play the game. Clearly while state of pitch is a factor when deciding to play or cancel a game there must also be thought given towards travel safety of players and supporters. With a crowd of 158 it’s probably not just on the pitch that the students incurred a loss.

This week’s opponents Cambridge were due to host Hull Ionians in a game they would have been hoping to secure points to lift them up the league from twelfth position. The team currently sits fourteen points off Birmingham Moseley, with two games in hand.

Cambridge’s league position is not a reflection of their ability to win games, judged on that alone they would currently sit in tenth, but rather a lack of ability to pick up try bonus points. With four to their name only basement team Fylde have less, a situation echoed in the team having only picked up 48 tries in total. A rare light in their try scoring endeavours has been centre Albert Portsmouth who has scored a fifth of the clubs tries with nine to date.

In contrast, however, to their scoring struggles Cambridge have one of the meanest defences when it comes to conceding tries, their line has been crossed 55 times. Only Coventry and Plymouth Albion have given up less.

Cambridge’s last outing two weeks ago saw a home loss to Caldy 6-15, having suffered a heavy 40-10 defeat the week before at Coventry. Indications of what Cambridge can achieve however can be found in a 20-8 win over Ampthill in February and a 16-14 victory over Plymouth Albion in January. Underestimate them at your peril.

In November Birmingham Moseley secured a hard fought 15-22 win at Grantchester Road. For the first 50 minutes Cambridge contained Birmingham Moseley’s attack until tries from Tim Molenaar and Adam Caves eased the visitors ahead. Since that game the club have drafted in Coventry prop Harry Morley to bolster their pack.

Apart from hypothermia the main thing Birmingham Moseley will have taken away from last week’s game is the spirit of the team battling back from being 25-14 down with a quarter to go to clinch the game in the last few minutes. This is a marked indication that the relatively young team is progressing significantly from early season, demonstrating cool heads when the going gets tough.

With their nearest rivals in the league Old Elthamians facing a tough trip to Coventry this Saturday them Birmingham Moseley have the chance to rise above them to occupy sixth spot for the first time this season. Looks like it should be a cracking encounter.

And as an added bonus don’t forget we will be showing the France v England game in the Reddings Suite after the final whistle.