Injuries pile up for Mose as they head to the coast; Sport.
Byline: RUGBY UNION By PAUL SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org
MOSELEY go into the biggest game of their season at Cornish Pirates tomorrow on the back of an injury crisis which has severely hindered their preparations.
Kevin Maggs' team clearly used up their allotted share of good fortune in the casualty department during the first half of the season, as since then the influential Glyn Hughes and Buster Lawrence, who both suffered medium-term injuries, have been joined on the sidelines by an ever-changing cross-section of their teammates.
The situation got so bad prior to their B&I Cup quarter final defeat at Leeds two weeks' ago that 41-year-old former Irish centre Maggs and his forwards coach, former Scotland prop Dave Hilton who is four years his senior, were named as unused substitutes.
"We had two pull out on the morning of the game at Leeds and lost another one in the warm-up," Maggs said, "and although a couple of the lads have recovered now, we're still struggling which is not ideal.
"We've barely had 15 to train with since then, which has been a bit of a nightmare, and everything seems to have hit us at once since on top of all these injuries there have been complications with availabilities for training. But despite that things are in our hands - we've got four games left and we can only control what we can control, so just need to win our games or pick up as many points as we can then we've got a chance."
The red-and-blacks beat the Pirates 24-19 at Billesley Common in November on the back of Kyle Evans' hat-trick, and tomorrow's hosts' league form has stumbled badly in recent weeks, when they have lost their last four matches consecutively.
Maggs remembers the November finale fondly, and says his team need to replicate their performance level in Cornwall, where they are yet to record a win since their return to English rugby's second tier nine years' ago, to give their survival hopes a boost.
"We went 27-phases at the end of the home game to create an opening and score in the corner to win the home game, so we know we can do it. It's just about bringing our A-game and getting everyone properly prepared to play.
"We know it's a difficult place to go, so we're under no illusions about either what's at stake or the task in hand, but hopefully the lads will put in a performance."
Coach Kevin Maggs