1st XV Match Preview V Ulster (Home) Fri 27/11/2009 



by Joe Heaton

MOSELEY v  Ulster Ravens -  British and Irish Cup, at Billesley Common - Friday, November 27th 2009, k. o. 7.30pm but come for food from 5.00 - (see below)

A second Pool C game in the British & Irish Cup, awaits us on Friday evening but, unlike last week’s opponents, we know little about our new visitors, other than that Ulster’s senior team plays in the prestigious Magners League (with Leinster, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Munster, Newport, Ospreys, Llanelli, Cardiff and Connacht) and in the Heineken Cup.

The Ulster club however, has entered a recently renamed second string, Ulster Ravens, in this lesser competition, but this does not mean that this will be a mismatch for Moseley. Far from it. The Ravens first game in Pool C at home resulted in the comprehensive defeat of Bedford by 29-3, with four first half tries being scored in the process. Bearing in mind that Bedford beat Moseley 23-7 earlier in the month there is a major challenge ahead for our club.

The Ulster First XV represents the Irish Rugby Football Union, Ulster Branch which is one of four branches of the IRFU, which is responsible for rugby union in the Irish province of Ulster, comprising six counties in Northern Ireland and three in the Republic of Ireland. The branch was founded in 1879. The home ground is at Ravenhill in Belfast, which has a capacity of 12,300.

The Ulster team traditionally played solely as an Irish province, but since shortly after the advent of professionalism in the higher reaches of the game in 1995 it has played as a professional club which also fields the Ravens (seconds), U18s, U19s and U20s as well as school teams.

The Ravens are expected to do well in the B & I Cup and will come to Billesley Common brimming with confidence as the Ulster Rugby Union has an impressive cup record. The province won the Heineken Cup in 1998-99, the Celtic Cup in 2003-04 and achieved a three years unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup.

Moseley opening match against London Welsh in this cup campaign resulted in a loss by 27-38 despite the best weather of a vile weekend. The less said about the first half performance, the soonest mended, but several senior players would be disappointed in their performances and in how this reflects on their responsibilities to the club members and paying public.

It will be interesting to see how many Ulstermen, now living in Birmingham, turn out to support their compatriots on Friday evening as there could be few travelling supporters from Belfast with the competing attracting of an Ireland international match in Dublin on the same weekend. Those who do make it to Billesley Common deserve the warmest of welcomes.


Special food deals - Have your Balti at Billesley!

All food and beverages services will be set up by 5pm, this will include:
Our highly recommended Panini's £3.00
Ever popular Roast pork and Stuffing Baps £3.00
Friday Night Special Beef and Vegetarian Curry & Rice served with nann £5.00
Kids Special for Friday Night Pizza & Chips £3.00
+ all the usual Pies & Pasties, Burgers, Hotdogs, Chips etc

Read the RFU "BRITISH & IRISH CUP BULLETIN" here (pdf)


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