BIG MATCH PREVIEW -
by Joe Heaton
It is not often that an absolutely new competition is created in rugby union but Friday will mark the first round of matches in the new B & I Cup involving teams from the four parts of the British Isles:
Gael Force (SRU Academy)
A roll call of some of the historically most famous clubs in the land!
The participating teams are divided into four pools: A, B, C and D with six clubs in each pool. These sides play the other clubs in their pool once with only the pool winners progressing to the semi-finals, which are scheduled to take place on 24th April 2010, with the final set for 15th May 2010.
Moseley’s opponents in Pool C are Aberavon, Bedford, London Welsh, Llanelli and Ulster and our fixtures in this pool are:
20th November Moseley v London Welsh
27th November Moseley v Ulster
12th February Aberavon v Moseley
27th February Llanelli v Moseley
5 th March Moseley v Bedford Blues
It is perhaps unfortunate that Moseley’s first fixture in the new competition is against a club (London Welsh) that we played at home in the championship only four weeks ago, rather than Llanelli, Ulster or Aberavon, who would have brought renewed interest to Billesley Common.
The Preview of the home league match against London Welsh on 24th October brought the recent history of the ‘exiles’ (as they are often known) up to date. Since then they have maintained their form. The results of the Welsh’s last three Championship matches are:
Saturday, 14th November London Welsh 12 Plymouth 26
Friday, 6th November Coventry 10 London Welsh 19
Saturday, 31st October. London Welsh 9 Doncaster 19
Being beaten at home last Saturday by Plymouth, situated well below the Old Deer Park club in the lower reaches of the league, will have been a big shock and, no doubt, the Welsh will be fired up at Billesley Common to make immediate amends.
The relative positions in the Championship of London Welsh and Moseley, after playing eleven matches and at the start of the B&I pool, are;
P W D L F A BP Pts Pos
London Welsh 11 6 0 5 236 198 5 24 6th
Moseley 11 5 0 6 243 309 4 24 7th
Note how much tighter London Welsh’s defence is than Moseley’s .
It will be interesting to see the teams selected by both sides. Traditionally it has been customary at the start of a cup competition to rest the key players, who have played in all the league matches so far, and give a run out to the other members of the First XV Squad, who have spent a lot of time on the bench thus far.
London Welsh won the earlier match at a Billesley Common on 24th October 17-21, scoring two tries to Moseley’s one with a last gasp try in injury time. It was an entertaining and tense game. Friday evening games under floodlights always have their own unique sense of occasion and this Friday’s game against the same traditional opponent could well be one to savour.
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