1st XV Match Preview V Rotherham Titans (Home) Sat 22/10/2011 

 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW - By Glyn Barlow

 

 

The Moseley players will be approaching Saturday’s game against Rotherham following a tale of what might have been in Yorkshire.

 

Having produced their usual second half comeback against Leeds (18 of their 21 points delivered in the second 40) they led with only 4 minutes to go, only to see the game snatched away from them with a last gasp penalty goal.

 

However the team will take many positives from last week. Again the centre pairing of Andy Reay & Greg King proved to be a handful for the opposition and the re-introduction of David Lyons brought more drive to the play forward.

 

There had been a boost to the players’ belief in their abilities on the previous Wednesday when the team secured a win away at Bristol in the B&I Cup. Clearly progress is being made and will surely bring rewards very soon. Hopefully this Saturday will be the beginning.

 

Like many clubs in the professional era the Rotherham club has had its fair share of peaks and troughs. One of the highlights must have been the two promotions to the top of English leagues in 2000/01 & 2002/3; however each promotion was followed by relegation the following season, having failed to win a single game in the Premiership. Further turmoil followed with the club losing its financial backer and the real prospect of the club folding was only averted by a local consortium of businesses providing a lifeline.

 

One further casualty of the professional game proved to be the club’s name, where following a sponsorship agreement it became the “Earth Titans”, a name which caused confusion wherever the team played. Thankfully the club reverted to its original name which at least allows you to find the club.

 

Rotherham enters this match in 6th place having accumulated impressive wins against the likes of London Welsh and Bedford. Features of the team’s play are a strong pack and some hard running backs. With Rotherham’s goal kicker Gary Law leading the Championship points scorers Moseley must be sure to avoid conceding penalties; otherwise the home team will be severely punished. Clearly the Titans will provide a tough challenge.

 

During the close season Rotherham made a number of significant signings including Tongan Semisi Taulava, Irish second row Robin Copeland from Plymouth, wing Shane Monahan from Connacht, versatile back Tom Foden from Birmingham & Solihull and New Zealand centre Palepoi Nonu.

 

Last season saw honours even between the two teams with wins for the home team being the order of the day.

 

Sat 6th Nov

Rotherham

28 – 17

Moseley

Fri 11th Feb

Moseley

9 – 5

Rotherham

 

Moseley will not be short of people who understand the threat that Rotherham can pose. With the coaching duo of Kevin Maggs & Craig West this season renewing a partnership started at Clifton Lane, along with former Titans players Brad Hunt, Anton O’Donnell, Colin Quigley and Craig Voisey, let us hope they have the secret to overcoming what will be an all-out assault from the North.