BIG MATCH PREVIEW
by Joe Heaton
London Welsh v Moseley
Old Deer Park
Saturday, 8th January 2011, k.o. 2.00 pm
It is unlikely that the London Welsh team to play Moseley in the Championship match at Old Deer Park on Saturday afternoon will be the team which we beat 21-24 on 11th December in the B&I Cup. It will almost certainly be both stronger and more committed to at least maintaining, or possibly improving, the club’s present fourth position in the League.
This is not to belittle Moseley’s rare away victory but to put it into context as our opponents on Saturday won by the substantial margin of 21-68 in the corresponding home match in October.
The present relative positions of the two teams in the Championship, and their points scoring record so far, are:
P W D L F A B Pts Pos
London Welsh 15 11 0 4 424 263 10 54 4th
Moseley 17 3 2 12 300 558 2 18 11th
The results of the last two matches of both teams over Christmas & New Year are:
28th December Doncaster 19 London Welsh 21 W
1st January London Welsh 24 Esher 17 W
28th December Worcester 45 Moseley 7 L
1st January Moseley 12 Nottingham 36 L
These figures are perhaps a reflection of the difference between a well funded fully professional side and a semi-professional one on a tight budget. In many ways however Moseley team has recently been playing well (for example against Bedford, Worcester and Nottingham) between the 22s. The players’ problems remain inside the five metre lines, notably the inability to remain cool enough to convert pressure into points and to maintain a defensive line. The coaches have been working hard on this for some time, as it will be vital that they are tightened up if, as is possible, the club does find itself in the relegation play-offs starting on 12th March (i.e. in eight weeks time.)
Notwithstanding the more demanding environment and probable stronger side, Moseley should take heart from the Cup victory at Old Deer Park last month. Encouragement can also be taken from the fact that, in spite of the travails of the season, the club has maintained its core support and that of the local sporting press.
This season is London Welsh’s 125th Anniversary. The club is now managed by Chief Executive John Taylor with Phil Greening as Head Coach and Jonathon Miller as captain.
Games between our clubs go back many decades and spectators enjoyed the free flowing movement among the teams. Whatever the outcome, the game itself should continue to be an entertaining spectacle in line with that great rugby tradition.
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