This is another difficult away match of vital importance. The current
position in the championship table could not be tighter. The gap between
Moseley in the relative comfort of eighth position and Saturday’s opponents,
Doncaster, in ninth, is only one bonus point. Furthermore, both clubs are
being closely pursued by Coventry (10th /22 points).
P W D L F A BPts Pts
Moseley 8th 13 5 0 8 277 359 5 25
Doncaster 9th 13 5 0 8 219 231 4 24
The outcome of last Sunday’s away match against Nottingham, in which Moseley
lost by 30-15, and conceded four tries to nil, does not reflect the game or
the closeness of the teams. Moseley could well have won this game although
the visitors had not been favourites at the start of play but again
defensive frailty at crucial times let the side down.
The team’s defensive record in the Championship, in which 359 points have
been leaked in thirteen championship matches at an average of almost 28 per
match, is only worsened by B’ham Solihull. The need to significantly tighten
the defence is imperative, otherwise the lower reaches of the league, and
the four side relegation play offs, beckon.
In September, at Billesley Common, the two teams competed for the dubious
honour of propping up the new Championship. In the event Moseley won 33-25
although since then the Knights have got their act together. Last Saturday
they beat Cornish Pirates away 10-12.
Last season, in November 08 in National League One, Doncaster beat Moseley
12-19 at Billesley Common and in March 09 won again at home 41- 17.
Doncaster’s record in National League One, preceding the establishment of
the Championship, has been impressive. In the club’s first season after
promotion the Knights were 10th but in 2006-07 they were 3rd and 2007-08,
4th. Last season they were 5th.
No side, promoted from League Two, did better in League One so quickly,
except previously relegated Premiership sides. The Knights’ leading try
scorer last season was Mark Woodrow with 263 points, which placed him second
in League One’s table of leading try scorers.
Doncaster sits at the heart of the road and rail communication system of
north eastern England. It is 20 miles from both Rotherham and Sheffield and
straddles the South Yorkshire coalfields.
The town is the largest in England not to have been awarded city status,
although Greater Doncaster has a population of 286,000. The main claim to
fame of the town’s much contracted industry is its former locomotive
building and repair shops, which built the steam engines ‘Mallard’ and
‘Flying Scotsman’ for the London North Eastern Railway.
The area suffered badly from the rundown of the coal industry in the
1970s/80s, but, profiting from its superb location, was successfully
regenerated until the start of the present recession, which has caused a
Doncaster Rugby Club now plays at Castle Park in Armthorpe Road. Its ground,
built in part from Lottery funds, has a capacity of 5,000, of which 1,600
can be seated under cover. The club’s Director of Rugby is Lynn Howells, who
is ably assisted by Justin Bishop. Two seasons ago he made a considerable
number of successful changes in his squad, with a view to reducing the
average age of a squad that was beginning to show the effects of time and
We wish the Yorkshiremen well, but not in rugby!