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1st XV Match Preview V Nottingham (Away) Sun 10/10/2010 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW

 

by Joe Heaton


Nottingham v Moseley, Sunday 10th October 2010 at Meadow Lane, RFU Championship, k.o. 3.00 pm


The pressures of the 2010/11 fixture list seem endless. Yet again Moseley will be playing a club, Nottingham, in the top half of the table (6th) and away from home into the bargain.

This will take place a week after weathering the injustices inherent in last Saturday’s home match against Worcester, during which Moseley led for significant periods of the game, yet lost to a team reinforced in the second half by no less than seven players with premiership experience.

League positions are not truly reflective of clubs’ relative strengths until all the first half of the season’s fixtures have been completed but here is the relative position of our two clubs in opposition on Sunday:

                  P W D L BP Pts Position
Nottingham 6 3 0 3 6 18    6th
Moseley      6 1 2  3 1   9   10th

Whilst the Nottingham club has scored almost twice as many points as Moseley (212 v 109) the track record of the two defences is very comparable (162 v 167)

Last season, the first of the Championship, Nottingham finished fifth and Moseley ninth. Nottingham won both games:

19th September 09 Moseley 20 Nottingham 31
13th December 09  Nottingham 20 Moseley 19

There are still injuries to key Moseley players, notably Neil Mason with his unfortunately dislocated rib. Also still recovering and yet to play a game is Michael Ellery. However new hooker George Warner played a full game against Birmingham University on Monday and got five minutes in the 1st XV against Worcester. Probably back also will be skipper Gareth Taylor. Andy Borgen is still a bit away yet from playing.

Mention must be made of centre Andy Reay, who has stepped into the role of Acting Captain in the temporary absence of both Neil Mason and Gareth Taylor and has led the XV from the front by upping his own game.

Last Saturday Nottingham uncharacteristically threw away a fifteen point lead in the last quarter at Doncaster and lost 46-42. Let us hope they will be as generous to Moseley on Sunday!

Nottingham Rugby was founded in 1877, four years after Moseley, by a Rugby schoolboy during his holidays. Over the last one hundred and thirty- four years, without ever reaching the heights of the game, Nottingham earned itself the well deserved reputation of being a solid, dependable and hospitable club, which is a pleasure to visit but difficult to beat.

In the modern era Nottingham made a notable contribution to successive England XVs; Dusty Hare, Gary Rees, Rob Andrew, Brian Moore and Chris Oti spring to mind. The club’s most memorable player, however, was Simon Hodgkinson, who between 1981-98 made 318 appearances and scored 2,778 points.

Nottingham has been one of the second tier's most consistent performers. In the final three seasons of National League One the club was seventh, a well deserved third, and fifth. This pattern has been maintained in the first season of the Championship and, so far, this season.
Nottingham’s Director of Rugby is Glenn Delaney, a charismatic Kiwi who always seems to get the best out of his club and it's players, whatever the challenges on and off the field.

We look forward to another challenging encounter on Sunday.
 

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