1st XV Match Preview V Bedford Blues (Away) Sat 19/11/2011 

BIG MATCH PREVIEW - By Glyn Barlow

 

Well perhaps we should draw a line quickly under last week’s visit to the valleys as soon as possible.

 

A disappointing result for supporters, coaches and players in no way reflected the positive steps the team had taken the week before in beating Bristol. It is probably a better indicator of form to look at the last Championship game, as the Cross Keys performance included only 3 of the winning team at Billesley Common two weeks ago.

 

 What is certain this week is that Moseley will revert predominantly to the players that played the full 80 mins in the last Championship game as, on the whole, those players given the opportunity to challenge for a starting jersey during the B&I cup match disappointingly failed to do so. It is a safe bet that the players taking to the field at Goldington Road will be looking for a performance to cement their place in the minds of Kevin Maggs and Craig West as the go to guys for the Championship campaign.

 

The coaches will have some interesting decisions to make including should they continue with Ollie Thomas at fly half after his outstanding performance against Bristol or revert to a fit again Brad Davies. The position of scrum half proves to be no easier to call with Ryan De La Harpe, Ryan Glynn and Sam Brown all presenting a strong case for inclusion.

 

Mind you Bedford’s players will be out to prove a point or two to their supporters, having not won a home fixture since the 21st September. Currently residing in 4th place in the Championship Bedford’s home form is in stark contrast to the 5 away wins they have achieved to date.

 

During the summer Bedford have made a number of dual registration agreements with Saracens to strengthen an already impressive squad including Centre/Wing Duncan Taylor, Flanker Will Fraser, Back Row Jackson Wray, Hooker Harry Allen, Centre Sam Stanley nephew of All black Joe Stanley, Full Back Ben Ransom and Prop Mako Vunipola.

 

The club has also made significant direct signings including England counties Scrum Half Stefan Liebenberg, Ex England 7’s player Don Barrell at No 8, Back Row Jonathon Fisher and Fly half Jamie Lennard from London Irish along with Prop Nico Steenkamp from Rotherham and Hooker Neil Cochrane from Doncaster.

 

Last season Moseley and Bedford met 3 times with Bedford being victorious in each case.

 

25th Sept

Bedford

41 – 12

Moseley

Championship

14th Dec

Moseley

15 – 22

Bedford

Championship

26th Feb

Bedford

28 – 15

Moseley

B&I Cup

 

After the heavy loss away early in the season Moseley ran Bedford closer in the two remaining games, particularly at Billesley Common. No mean feat against a team who went on to finish second in the league and were within two points of denying Worcester their return to the premiership in a tense semi-final.

 

For Moseley to succeed on Saturday they must return to the intensity they brought to the Bristol game and have the self-belief in their undoubted abilities. Let’s hope Moseley’s travelling faithful do not leave the ground with a case of the Blues.