By Glyn Barlow
No matter which way you look at it, Saturdays 33-3 defeat at Bishop’s Stortford was probably the low point of the season to date.
To come away with just a single penalty, despite some good work in set pieces, was extremely disappointing and a step backwards from the hard fought loss to Rosslyn Park the week before.
Again, unfortunately, the team let the opposition dominate the points scoring in the first half and this time were unable to make a comeback in the second to put any pressure on the home side. Any opportunities created unfortunately fell by the wayside due to unforced errors.
The challenge of turning around the run of three losses does not get any easier this Saturday as third place Rams are the visitors. Indeed, it is a merciless run into Christmas with a trip to fourth place Sale FC the following weekend and the year concluding with a trip to league leaders Cinderford. Good performances and results in this sequence of games could be vital in getting the season back on track.
As Birmingham Moseley were finding life in Hertfordshire tough, this week opponents were inflicting only the second defeat of the season on first place Cinderford in a close fought 22-20 game, holding out an onslaught from the visitors until he final whistle.
The previous weekend Rams took a breather due to their cancelled fixture against Old Elthamians having suffered a loss to Sale FC 21-32 at the end of October. This loss made back-to-back defeats having come away with only a couple of bonus points from a trip to Darlington Mowden Park (29-23). This result brought to an end a very impressive run of victories stretching back to the start of the season, only punctuated by an away loss to Taunton Titans at the beginning of October. Notable wins in this period included Cambridge (28-34), Tonbridge Juddians (24-13) Bishop’s Stortford (19-21) and Rosslyn Park (24-21).
In preparation for the new season Rams strengthened their squad with the signing of South African Full Back Josh Hart who moved from French club Pamiers and Back Row Vince Everitt from Hartpury.
For Birmingham Moseley to have a chance of winning this weekend they will need to address a number of areas of play.
Rams will bring a big, physical pack to Billesley Common and the home eight will need to build on the good showing last week in the tight with an equally strong performance in the loose. They cannot afford to allow the visitors to gain ascendancy in driving plays.
Another area the coaching staff will be looking at is cutting out mistakes. It is demoralising when the team creates great chances only to fail due to inaccuracies in finish. In addition to this, some attention must be given to discipline. With two cards conceded last week the team are helping the opposition’s cause if they only play with fourteen men.
While Rams bring a big challenge to Billesley Common these are the type of games the team must win at home to be considered a side who can challenge for a place in the top levels of the league. A big ask to move forward from last week’s performance but something the team must rise to. The capabilities are there, they need to find the disciplines and structures to put a winning performance in place.