1st XV Match Preview V London Welsh (Home) Sat 08/10/2011 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW - By Glyn Barlow

 

Moseley versus the Celts (Part 2)

 

Following on from last week’s visit to Richmond to take on the Scottish Saturday sees the Welsh visiting Billesley Common.

 

 Although it must be said that there will be far less players born west of the Seven than was the case during the golden years of London Welsh in the 1970s. As one time they fielded 7 of the victorious 1971 Lions squad amongst their ranks.

 

It is with a view of returning to these heady days that Welsh are embarking on a strong challenge for promotion to the Premiership. Having seen themselves through recent financial difficulties the club has now obtained the backing to put together a very strong squad of players.

 

Almost new to Old Deer Park this season are Ben Stevenson and James Tideswell who have both signed from London Irish having played for Welsh last season on a loan agreement. The relationship with the Sunbury side continues this season with 10 loan / duel registered players being made available to Lyn Jones team. In addition England Academy Prop Billy Moss will be joining from Bath on a DR agreement.

 

Despite the numbers of players from other clubs the Welsh have not been slow to recruit more into their ranks. Fly half Alex Davies joins from Plymouth Albion along with back three player Edd Thrower from Bedford, wing Will Hurrell from Leicester, 6’ 6” second row Adam Brown from the Dragons, Seb Jewell at fly half from Esher and Ed Jackson coming into the back row from Doncaster.

 

The recruitment seems to have paid off so far as they have won 4 of their first 5 league games and sit just 1 point off the top of the table. Wins over the likes of Leeds and Nottingham suggest this is a team with a mean defence and the ability to score some impressive tries.

 

We can be certain that Saturday will prove to be a tough challenge to Moseley. Will they be up to it? Well that very much depends on which team turns up. The one who played the first halves against Esher and London Scottish or the other 15 guys who looked like them but must have been their bigger, faster, more skilful twins.

 

For the last 3 games Moseley have gone into half time losing, having only scored a total of 20 points. In contrast the second half of these games have seen them score 57 points. I don’t know what oranges they are being given at half time but feed them some before the start please!

 

Last week it proved a case of too little too late as the great second half comeback just ran out of impetus with seven minutes to go, Moseley had pulled back to within 3 points. However a couple of lapses saw the game fade away from them.

 

Clearly the potential is there, tries can be scored, the task for the coaches is to ensure the same level of intensity is reached from the very first whistle.

 

Whatever the result on Saturday we can only ask that the team leave the field at the end certain that they could not have tried any harder individually and collectively.