1st XV Match Preview V Plymouth Albion (Home) Wed 21/09/2011 

“BIG MATCH” PREVIEW - By Glyn Barlow

 

Bring on the B&I cup

 

This season sees a very early start to Moseley’s cup campaign with the visit of Plymouth Albion to Billesley.

 

In a new format to the competition this year teams play opposition outside of their own pool. Thus although Moseley are in Pool 1 and need to finish higher than Ayr, Cornish Pirates, and Neath they will not play any of these teams. Instead their opposition will beBristol, Cross Keys,MunsterandPlymouth. And you thought the RFU couldn’t make life more complicated!

 

Moseley & Plymouth are of course no strangers to each other having met four times last season, with Moseley winning one,Plymouthtwo and one draw.

 

30/10

Moseley

22 – 36

Plymouth

5/2

Plymouth

6 – 6

Moseley

11/3

Plymouth

37 – 17

Moseley

16/4

Moseley

30 – 25

Plymouth

 

Aside from the draw each match has provided plenty of scores, a trend that will hopefully continue this week.

 

During the close season Albion have made a number of signings to strengthen their squad including promising No 8 Herbie Stupple on a dual registration agreement with Exeter, Mick McGrath from Clontarf, Bees Prop Rob Dugard , Rotherham hooker Davy McGregor and of course ex Moseley centre Bevon Armitage who we are sure will be given a warm Billesley welcome.

 

Plymouthhave enjoyed a positive start to the season with wins over Esher in the first week of the season andRotherhamlast Saturday. Sandwiched in between was a credible 34-23 away loss to a strong London Welsh team.

 

For Moseley the start to the season has been somewhat more frustrating having only 3 points from the impressive opening weekend draw with Cornish Pirates to show for their endeavours. The following weeks have proved to be case of “what might have been” with a strong opening half against Nottingham proving to be just not enough to see them through a second 40 playing into the Billesley gale. Last Saturday saw a reversal of fortunes with a very strong performance in the second half just falling short of securing a result atDoncaster. If those two performances can be brought together in one game the wins will come.

 

With the B & I cup fixture coming in between two Saturdays of Championship rugby the coaches will be looking to rotate the squad in order to keep all players fresh. We can therefore expect to see a number of players, who have not had so much game time yet, pull out the stops to put in a performance that secures then a starting 1st XV place in the weeks to come.

 

In addition there will be a number of players Moseley can call upon who are duel registered with clubs from lower leagues for the cup Competition including second rows Steve Smith and Matt Dew who impressed in Moseley’s pre-season campaign and prop Ryan Zietsman from the Parachute Regiment. For these players the B & I cup provides the ideal opportunity to prove they have what it takes to play rugby to a Championship standard. Who knows we may witness a future Moseley star in the making.

 

While the Championship will rightly be seen to be priority number one for Moseley this season this weeks B & I fixture will provide the opportunity for Moseley to start getting into the much needed habit of winning games.