Albion Must Build On Bonus Point Victory

Dan Mugford of Plymouth Albion goes over for a try during the National Division 1 match between Plymouth Albion v Hull Ionians at the Brickfields Recreation Ground, on December 2nd 2017, Plymouth, Devon, UK. PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion will look to build on their winning performance against Hull Ionians when they travel north to take on Birmingham Moseley in National League One this Saturday, December 9 (KO 3pm).

Last week, Albion achieved an impressive bonus point victory over the Yorkshire side, 29-3, while Birmingham suffered a crushing 47-17 defeat away at Old Elthamians.

Head coach Kieran Hallett was pleased with his team’s positive play: “I said straight after the game that I thought it was our best attacking performance of the season and, having reviewed it two or three times, that hasn’t changed. We were really sharp.

“It was a culmination of things in terms of playing in the right areas, making the correct decisions in the middle of the park and attacking when we needed to.

“The information we have been feeding the guys hasn’t changed too much. The difference was simply that we did what we said we were going to do.

“We decided when to really go at them and when to kick. Our recognition of that was better and led to more scoring opportunities.”

Despite the positive performance, there was bad news for Albion when winger Jack Arnott left the field with a shoulder injury. Hallett says he won’t be returning any time soon: “He has dislocated his shoulder. We couldn’t put it back in on the pitch and are waiting to hear from the fracture clinic.

“It’s a minimum of three months for a straightforward dislocation, but until we get in front of the specialist, we don’t know.”

With Robin Wedlake out for the season following his knee reconstruction, Arnott is the club’s second winger to join the long term injury list. However, Hallett is comfortable with his remaining options: “As well as Matt Crosscombe and Seta Raumakita, we have Dean Squire who did a good job when he switched to the wing and scored a fantastic try.”

Seventh-placed Birmingham Moseley benefit from a number of talented players, including former Wasps back rower Buster Lawrence, signed earlier this year. Hallett says: “They are a big, physical side and defensively pretty solid. They put some big shots in and have guys with a lot of experience. Chris Brightwell and Buster Lawrence have both played to a high level and are Championship quality players.

“I am not sure why they are in their position but they had high player turnover in the summer which doesn’t help. They would have expected to go to Old Elthamians and win and to have been on the wrong end of that will have hurt them, so we have to manage that.

“There is still a lot of quality there so we will have to be sharp and any side away from home is a difficult match.”

Hallett is not making many changes to his squad, although Dan Collier and Ed Holmes are unavailable through injury.

“There is no reason to swap around too much as the guys who performed well at the weekend deserve another crack.

“It works both ways. We are saying to the guys that if you don’t perform you lose your shirt and, likewise, if you do perform you get to keep it. That’s how it works.”

Albion will travel to the Midlands buoyed by last week’s success. Hallett adds: “We are always pretty confident of going anywhere but it’s a tricky trip to Moseley, so it’s nice to have it off the back of a good result.”

Plymouth Albion team to face Birmingham Moseley at Billesley Common on Saturday, December 9 (KO 3pm).

15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Dean Squire, 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Setareki Raumakita, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 Luke Chapman, 2 Jamie Salter, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Dan Swain, 6 George Mills, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Eoghan Grace (Captain)

Replacements

16 Dan Pullinger, 17 Rupert Freestone, 18, John Kelly, 19 Joe Snow, 20 Jordan Gott