After seeing the burgeoning optimism of recent weeks dissolve into the chill Yorkshire air last Friday night, Moseley head coach Kevin Maggs has restated his conviction his team can still enjoy a successful campaign.
All the momentum of successive British & Irish Cup victories meant nothing at Doncaster’s Castle Park last week as Moseley returned to Championship action with what was one of their most important matches of the season so far.
Victory over the Knights would have seen them pull clear of the bottom two and provide more evidence that Maggs’s young squad can depart from recent Red and Black tradition and leave the relegation worries to other clubs.
However, a desperate first-half performance allowed the hosts to build a 21-3 lead, a position from which even a marginally better second-period showing was unable to extricate them.
By Saturday night the prospect of Moseley being ten points clear of the battle at the bottom was totally obliterated by the fact they allowed Doncaster to draw level on nine points and Jersey won for the first time since their promotion.
The situation is further clouded by a swingeing injury situation that threatens to deprive Mose of some of their most senior players. Nevertheless, as frustrated as he was by Moseley’s no-show, Maggs remains steadfast in his belief in his team.
“I think mid-table is still realistic,” he insisted. “We have narrowly lost to Plymouth and we would have beaten Doncaster if we had brought our A game. I know it’s all ifs and buts but I genuinely believe we are good enough to be mid-table.
“We know now we have to perform every week. I know it is difficult, I know we only have a small squad and it is very hard for us to do that. We always knew that was going to be difficult. We have played some really good rugby at times but unfortunately that consistency is very hard to replicate with a small squad.
“Some boys do it every week because they are 100 per cent regardless of what is going on whereas others peak and trough. We know what we have got to do now – every game is important.”
In fact the next few could define their season. Positive results at home to Cornish Pirates this weekend and at Leeds and London Scottish over the next month would do wonders, particularly after the latter two both lost last weekend.
But Maggs knows that requires much better displays than that served up at Doncaster. “It just goes to prove you cannot turn a ball over more than 20 times and expect to win a game. We had lots of opportunities but we did not look after the ball, we knocked on or we forced an off-load. We got into good areas and then just did our own things – that’s frustrating from my point of view.”