1st XV Match Preview V Rotherham Titans (Away) Sat 14/01/2012 

Big Match Preview - By Glyn Barlow

 

Despite last weekend’s loss to Leeds Moseley can travel to Rotherham for an early 1pm kick off this Saturday with optimism.

 

Had it not been for a lapse of defensive coordination early in the first half which gave an impressive Leeds team a head start which Moseley eventually found impossible to overall, the end result may have been closer.

 

Boosted by some impressive young Premiership talent on loan Leeds fielded a backline the like of which most teams will rarely encounter in the Championship. This coupled with a large pack meant that Moseley’s performance, not least in scoring four tries, should not be underestimated against a team that is gaining momentum for an end of season challenge to return to the  Premiership at the first attempt.

 

A high point of last week’s game was Moseley’s ability to provide a true attacking threat particularly wide out. Overall though it was the commitment and determination not to give up that will have pleased the coaches the most. And these are certainly characteristics that will be needed at Rotherham.

 

For Moseley, this Saturday’s game provides an opportunity to make amends for a disappointing result earlier in the season when Rotherham inflicted an 8 – 36 home defeat. Probably the Moseley players and supporters were somewhat guilty of underestimating a new Rotherham team that was just beginning to demonstrate its true ability.  Rotherham’s progress since then is reflected in a current sixth place in the league with only one home league defeat this season. Significantly this was in the Titans’ last home game to London Welsh which followed a loss the previous week away at Esher. While this may suggest Rotherham’s recent good form may be faltering, it will be probably mean that the Yorkshiremen will be even more determined to secure a win “to get the train back on the tracks”.

 

Since the two sides last met the Rotherham management has strengthened the backline with the loan signing of Scotland 7’s international Dave McColl at centre from Glasgow Warriors. Moseley will be careful to avoid giving away penalties, particularity in kickable positions as Rotherham’s Gary Law, currently the league’s top points scorer, will punish any transgressions. In addition the Moseley defence will need to be on form to contain second row Robin Copeland and centre Shane Monahan who are in impressive try scoring form. The fact that Copeland has scored ten tries to date is a reflection of the strength of Rotherham’s pack. Moseley will need the selected front five to play to the best of its ability to contain this impressive eight.

 

We can therefore be assured Saturday’s clash will be a fully committed affair.