1st XV Match Preview V Cornish Pirates (Home) Sat 05/12/2009 



by Joe Heaton

MOSELEY v  Cornish Pirates -  RFU Championship, at Billesley Common - Saturday, 5th December 2009, k. o. 3pm (but come for lunch!)

Billesley Common sees the return of Championship action on Saturday. Although experimenting in some team selections, consecutive losses at home to London Welsh (26-37) and Ulster (21-32) in the B&I Cup and away to Bedford (7-23) in the Championship are not necessarily the best preparation for a match against Cornish Pirates who beat Moseley at Camborne 57-24 in the second Championship match of the season.

Although now unofficially listed as ‘Cornish Pirates’, the Cornish club is more properly known as Penzance & Newlyn RFC. Since Moseley returned to National League One in 2006, the two clubs have met on seven occasions (including one cup encounter). Pirates emerged comfortable winners of the first three encounters (a points ratio of 142-31in the Cornishmen’s favour) but the last four, which included one win for Moseley, were much closer (ratio 91-77 in the Pirates favour).

The results of the last three matches played by Cornish Pirates are:

28th November B&I Cup Leinster 12 Cornish Pirates 10
21st November B&I Cup Cornish Pirates 29 Gael Force 8
15th November C’ship Exeter 22 Cornish Pirates 15

The Moseley fullback, Rob Thirlby, who is a Cornishman to his finger tips, played for Penzance & Newlyn both in 1998 at the start of his career, in a sevens tournament in Kenya as a guest from Redruth, and latterly in seasons 2003-05.

For Moseley, injuries to key players and disruption caused when integrating new players into the team, have some validity, but the score lines cannot be ignored and they present Moseley with some remedial work particularly in defence when new combinations are introduced.

However the team has managed to acquire some bonus points along the way and with competition in the middle of the Championship being fierce, a single extra point earned or missed is capable of moving a club two or even three places up or down the league table. For Moseley it is seems to be not so much extra effort that is required but unremitting concentration throughout every match.

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