1st XV Match Preview V Rotherham Titans (Home) Sat 27/03/2010 



by Joe Heaton

MOSELEY v  Rotherham Titans - RFU Championship play-offs, at Billesley Common - Saturday, 27th March 2010, k. o. 3pm (but come for lunch!)

Hardly, if ever, has Moseley Rugby Club received a bigger wake up call than losing to Bees last Saturday afternoon by 24-17. This was against a team which had played twenty-two matches in the regular Championship and lost all but one of these games, drawing one.

In hindsight this was “a disaster waiting to happen” but why did it occur? There are differing opinions but a common view is that the Moseley players were jaded and failed to turn up, in contrast to the Bees players, who had nothing to lose and were able to take risks that paid off while executing their game plan perfectly.

It is imperative that we recover immediately and now beat Rotherham Titans (who beat Coventry convincingly 29-3), otherwise the importance of the visit to the Butts the following Saturday will not bear thinking about.

The position of the four teams in the relegation play offs ( Pool C) after the first round is:

                 P W L D F  A BP P
Rotherham 1 1 0 0 29  3 1  5
Bees*        1 1 0 0 24 17 0 2
Moseley     1 0 1 0 17 24 1  1
Coventry    1 0 1 0  3 29  0 0

* 2 points deducted for selecting an unregistered player

The results of the home/away matches earlier in between the two teams in the ‘regular’ Championship were:

7th Nov 09 Moseley v Rotherham 31 v 27 Won
30h Jan 10 Rotherham v Moseley 7 v 19 Won

Encouraging these past results may seem, they count for nothing in the caldron of these play-offs, as we saw only too well last Saturday.

In the last decade the Rotherham club has had two separate seasons in the Premiership, but on both occasions was unable to consolidate this elevated status.

At the end of season 1999-2000 the Titans were promoted, only to be relegated to National League One after one season. The immediate response was to win this league, yet to have promotion back to the Premiership denied due to the unacceptable standard of the club’s ground and facilities.

The club was acceptably promoted at the end of season 2002-03, but again only lasted one season, rejoining National League One for the 2004-05 season where an 8th place finish was obtained. Few, if any, clubs have had such a roller coaster ride. Since then Rotherham’s end of season positions have been:

2005/06 4th
2006/07 2nd
2007/08 11th
2008/09 10th

The Moseley players have to put defeat behind them on Saturday, regain their confidence to use their backs and run with the ball. There also has to be sensible and accurate kicking like the master class displayed by the Bees flyhalf last week

The Rotherham game is a home match of great importance and all local club members are asked to put last week’s disappointment behind them and provide maximum support for the club at Billesley Common on Saturday. The consequences of a loss do not bear thinking about.


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