1st XV Match Preview V Coventry (Away) Fri 02/10/2009
BIG MATCH PREVIEW
by Joe Heaton
Coventry v Moseley, at Butts Park Arena , RFU Championship,
Friday, 2nd October 2009, k.o.
“Coventry v Moseley - Moseley v Coventry”. How the call to arms has
resonated down the years for this most traditional of local derbies! Butts
Park Arena will be no place for the faint hearted on Friday.
Last season’s honours were reasonably even. In September Moseley beat
Coventry 34-12 at Billesley but on Boxing Day at Butts Park Arena the tables
were turned with a 27-10 win for home side. Overall, in National League One,
both clubs were together in the middle of the table with Moseley finishing
8th and Coventry 9th.
Last weekend Coventry lost away to Cornish Pirates 14-20, whilst Moseley won
at home 33-25 against Doncaster.
After four matches the new Championship table is beginning to settle down:
P W L D BP Pts Pos.
Moseley 4 1 3 0 2 6 8th
Coventry 4 1 3 0 1 5 10th
The results of Coventry’s matches since the start of the season (in reverse
Cornish Pirates 20 14 Coventry
Coventry 13 27 Exeter
Bedford 42 6 Coventry
Coventry 21 12 Rotherham
After three consecutive defeats, and back at home against the old enemy,
Coventry will certainly be fired up by Director of Rugby Phil Maynard to
gain a win and start climbing the Championship table.
In recent seasons the Blue and Whites side has been stiffened by players
from overseas, notably fly half Fengata Apikato from Tonga. The team is
captained by Arthur Brenton from lock and vice-captain is full back Ben
Coventry (Rugby) Football Club was founded in 1874, a year later than
Moseley. In 1921 the club moved to Coundon Road, well known to generations
of Moseley players and supporters and remained there for eighty-three years
until the move to Butts Park Arena in 2004.
In 1973-74 on the eve of the club’s Centenary Season the club won the RFU
Club Knock-Out competition twice in successive seasons and was rewarded with
a fixture against the Barbarians.
Although Coventry FC was an original member of the inaugural First Division
in 1987 on the advent of League rugby, relegation followed at the end of the
first season. Thereafter, apart from one season in the third division, the
club has been one of the better sides in the second division, which became
National League One on the formation of the Premiership.
Keith Fairbrother, well known to many Moseley men from his days “robustly”
propping for the club and for England in the 1970s, took charge in 1998 and
drew up plans to develop the club in the new millennium and make it fit to
be in the Premiership. The implementation of this however, was hindered by
financial challenges and at the beginning of the 2006/07 season Fairbrother
withdrew and sold the club to Andrew Green.
This season Coventry will be playing Championship home games under
floodlights on Friday evenings rather than on the traditional Saturday
afternoons. It is said that this can heighten the atmosphere, if ever this
is needed at a Cov v Mose match!
The return fixture at Billesley now back on its traditional Boxing Day date
will surely be equally exciting. Let’s hope that the Moseley Cup will be on
display by then, in Moseley’s cabinet, after a good win on Friday. One thing
is certain, if a win is achieved, it will have been after a very tough and
competitive game. Let battle commence.
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