1st XV Match Preview V Birmingham Solihull (Away) Sat 20/03/2010
BIG MATCH PREVIEW
by Joe Heaton
Bees v Moseley, at Sharmans Cross Road, RFU Championship Play-offs,
Saturday, March 20th 2010, k.o. 3.00 pm
So, on Saturday afternoon Moseley will enter new, and highly stressful
territory, termed the Championship Relegation Play-offs.
It is no use saying that we do not deserve to be in this mini-competition,
for the ‘regular’ Championship league table does not lie. All four teams
start on the same basis (apart from a two league point deduction for Bees
for playing a non registered player) and one will be relegated. That we beat
the other three teams, B’ham-Solihull, Coventry and Rotherham, both home and
away in the league is an irrelevance and a positive danger that it could
lead to complacency. One has only to look at how close several of these wins
were to appreciate how easy it could be to finish in fourth place and, God
forbid, be relegated to National League One.
Moseley will only survive if our players show the same determination and
intensity in all six playoff matches as they showed in magnificently beating
the Championship leaders, Bristol, last week at Billesley Common.
The first match is away to Birmingham Solihull on Saturday afternoon. The
danger of taking a win for granted is clear. Our opponents have lost all but
one of the matches they have played this season, and that one was a draw. On
several occasions they have conceded more than 50 points, including their
last match, which they lost away to Exeter 63-12. In the league we beat them
16-23 away at Sharmans Cross Road in October and by 25-24 at home in
The final positions of each club in the ‘regular’ Championship are:
P W D L F A
B Pts Pos
Moseley 22 10 0 12 444 543 6 46
*Bees 22 0
1 21 293 836 4 - 12th
* Bees fined 15 points for breach of league rules
Nevertheless, Bees will be trying to put behind them the horrors of the
league proper and will see the play-offs as a heaven sent opportunity to get
out of jail.
Birmingham & Solihull RFC was formed by an amalgamation in 1989 of
Birmingham Rugby Club, founded in 1911, and Solihull rugby club, founded in
1933. Although still bearing the city’s name, Birmingham RFC had moved out
from the city to Portway in Stratford District many years previously.
Solihull meanwhile had continued to play at Sharmans Cross Road, in the
Borough bearing its name.
From season 2005/06 on, Birmingham & Solihull RFC was sponsored by Pertemps
Employment Alliance Ltd and became known as ‘Pertemps Bees’. After
celebrating promotion to the Championship at the end of last season
(2008-09), however, the club entered in to a prolonged period of
uncertainty, which is still ongoing although several major hurdles have been
overcome on the road to stabilising the future.
On 23rd October 2009 the club went into voluntary liquidation, owing the
Inland Revenue over £90,000. This resulted in the RFU imposing a penalty and
deducting fifteen Championship points.
The Moseley players must do their utmost to avoid more yellow cards, which
so nearly brought them to grief last Saturday, and minimise the penalty
count. They also need to play with the determination and concentration that
led to such a magnificent win.
They must not be inhibited by the stakes they are playing for and be willing
to open up their game and give their backs the opportunity to score the
tries needed for a comprehensive win.
We must also hope that Tristan Roberts kicks his conversions and penalties
with the consistency he showed against Bristol.
Sharmans Cross Road is within local driving distance of the homes of the
majority of club members. The value of strong away support is incalculable
and the club asks you, if at all possible, to be in your place on Saturday
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