It is not often that a team goes through watershed part two in the space of one season but that is exactly what has happened to Moseley.
The 47-23 surrender up in Rotherham at the start of October was labelled a watershed moment for Mose by their unhappy head coach Ian Smith.
However, the message obviously didn’t fully sink in because an equally-gloomy Smith was forced to use the description again after his side’s Boxing Day beating at Butts Park Arena.
According to Smith, the 27-10 loss to Coventry followed unconvincing victories over Manchester and Newbury Blues.
The former Gloucester player is now expecting an instant improvement in Moseley’s on-the-field performance starting with the daunting battle with National One’s second-placed side Exeter Chiefs at Billesley Common tomorrow.
“We just weren’t at the races at Coventry,” said Smith. “We were probably about 20 per cent down, for whatever reason I don’t know. We know that it wasn’t acceptable. So we’ve posed a few questions and we’re now looking for a reaction not just against Exeter but for the rest of the season.
“It was a similar situation against Rotherham where we thought it would be a bit of a watershed but the problems resurfaced on Boxing Day. The boys know that they let the supporters down and the occasion down so it’s time to make amends.
“We spoke to them briefly after the match and at half-time because it was evident at that point. We met on Tuesday, pointed a few fingers and asked a few questions to try to face up to the fact that we were poor. We’ve spoken about it and now it’s time to put that result behind us and move on.
“We do need a fresh start because we flattered to deceive against Manchester and Newbury, we got five points but we weren’t great and that culminated in the Boxing Day effort.”
Saturday’s visitors to Birmingham are a hugely-ambitious outfit who will be hoping to be playing Guinness Premiership rugby in the near future. Second only to the might of Leeds Carnegie, Exeter also have the off-the-field infrastructure to sustain top flight rugby at their impressive Sandy Park home.
The Chiefs almost upset all-conquering Leeds before Christmas by gaining a losing bonus point during a 18-16 defeat at Headingley so they certainly pose an almighty challenge.
However, regardless of the opposition, Smith is only thinking about which Moseley side will show up.
“Exeter are not far away as their result against Leeds suggested because they did remarkably well. They’ve got the resources and the infrastructure now, it’s just about fine tuning their selection and recruitment. I definitely think they are capable of getting in the top flight but whether they can do it is another thing. But (from Moseley’s point of view) it doesn’t matter who the opposition are, we have to perform during that game. It’s the same every week, we’ve got to show our ability.”
* Meanwhile, Moseley have made a goodwill gesture to North Midlands clubs by offering them a discount on match-day tickets for tomorrow’s encounter.
Providing a North Mids club purchases at least 10 adult tickets, they will receive a £5 discount for each ticket bought. It is thought that the money saved could be put towards future tours or club funds in exchange for their members to passionately cheer on the home side at Billesley Common tomorrow.
The same is planned for rearranged Friday night fixtures against Cornish Pirates and Leeds Carnegie in February and April respectively.
For more details, call Alan Potter on 0121 443 3631 or 07796-171214 or visit www.moseleyrugby.co.uk