1st XV Match Preview V Exeter (Away) Sat 20/02/2010 



by Joe Heaton

Exeter v Moseley, at Sandy Park , RFU Championship, Saturday, February 20th 2010, k.o. 3.00 pm

Every point counts! This is the first of two final Championship matches proper (the other being against Bristol) which will decide whether Moseley can avoid the four team relegation play- offs by finishing eighth in the league.

The current forecast by the best authorities (notably members of Moseley Matters editorial team who have predicted seventeen out of the last eighteen Championship games correctly) is that Plymouth and Moseley, competing for the crucial safe eighth place, will tie on 43 points. If this occurs the outcome will be decided first by the number of wins and then, if necessary, by points difference.

The latter, however, is likely to be in Plymouth’s favour so it is essential that Moseley either beat Exeter (or Bristol) by a cricket score, or at least earn a bonus point! The reality of this challenge is illustrated by an extract from the present Championship table:

              P   W D L  F     A   BP   P Pos
Exeter    20 17 0 3 601 329 10 78 2nd

Moseley  20 9 0 11 395 482 6 42 7th

The results of recent Exeter v Moseley matches over last, and this season, further illustrate how difficult it will be on Saturday to bring a bonus point, let alone a win, back to Birmingham.

Sept 08 Exeter v Moseley L 70-10 National League One
Mar   09 Moseley v Exeter W 34-24 National League One
Sept 09 Moseley v Exeter L 25-50 Championship

The reason for this is that, since the start of the season, Exeter has had a well funded professional side (cf. Moseley who are semi- professional) reflected in a current second place to Bristol in the Championship, with high hopes of winning the Promotion Play-offs.

The Chiefs have made no secret of their ambition to play in the Premiership next season. Boosted by the extra income generated by their recently upgraded, purpose built ground, Sandy Park, they have assembled a talented squad and expectations are high. Exeter Rugby Club has come a long way since the leagues started in season 1987-88 with saw the club start in National League Two. This will therefore be a twelfth season in rugby’s second tier in which the Devonians have reached second place in 2004-05, 2007-08 and again last season.

Exeter, capital of Devonshire, is situated on the River Exe, ten miles from the sea, in the south west of England and has a modest population of 125,000 It was granted a charter by Henry the Second. The city is full of character and ancient history and is home to the magnificent Exeter Cathedral, which dates back to Norman times.

Although it will be a very “tough ask” on Saturday, let us fervently hope that the Moseley faithful will have more to appreciate from a rugby perspective from a visit to Exeter than from the city’s other charms.

Please note revised KO of 3pm.


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Sandy Park Stadium
Sandy Park Way



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