“IT’S going to be a massive dogfight” reckons Bees director of rugby Russell Earnshaw - and the people of Solihull are invited to watch as Birmingham and Solihull take on Moseley at Damson Park this Sunday in a game they simply have to win.
Not only must they win, but ideally they need to score at least four tries to secure themselves a bonus point whilst denying Moseley any bonus points at all. Lose, and they’re relegated out of the second tier of English rugby, the Championship.
And how dearly would Moseley love to send their upstart near neighbour into National League One.
“We’re a little bit used to playing Moseley - I think we’ve met eight times in the last few seasons, both in the league and the relegation play offs - both sides know each other very well and I don’t think there will be too many surprises, it will be down to who wants to win it the most,” said Earnshaw.
However the Number 8, who dislocated his shoulder away at Plymouth Albion two weeks ago yet played in the return fixture at Damson Park last Friday, admits to being impressed by Moseley’s back to back wins over fellow play off opposition Esher.
“They’re playing very well and no one would have predicted their two wins over Esher, but I know I don’t need to motivate my players for this match, they’re well up for it.”
Bees currently have nine points and Moseley 16 with Esher on 17 and Plymouth 20 and lost control of their own play off destiny when they were beaten 10-32 by Plymouth Albion last Friday.
They looked nervous from the kick off and this showed with some poor kicking, poor ball retention and players clearly losing the game plan.
It didn’t help that they were up against an on-song Plymouth side which looked strong in every department, particularly at lock and on the wing where former Bees favourite Cameron Mitchell was in form.
Alex Davis at fly half was superb with his place kicks while the pick of their tries came from a break out by full back Sione Tu’ipulotu.
He brushed aside poor Bees tackling but was finally brought down on half way. The ball was recycled and a cross field kick was brilliantly caught by Mitchell who fed flanker Sean-Michael Stephen who scored.
Even if they win on Sunday they still need Plymouth to do them a favour and defeat Moseley the following Saturday while they have to defeat Esher away at their Surrey HQ. As they say in sport, it’s going to be a big ask.
* Bees play Moseley at Damson Park on Sunday, kick off 2pm.