Birmingham Moseley head to National One high-fliers Darlington Mowden Park tomorrow without experienced full-back Mike Penn.
But that could see young Worcester Warriors loanee Afe Haisila handed a start on the wing as director of rugby Richard Protherough shuffles his backline.
Penn rolled his ankle ten minutes from the end of last weekend’s impressive 29-13 defeat of Hull Ionians up on Humberside.
On a positive note, veteran centre Tim Molenaar went into that game with an ongoing hamstring problem but came through 80 minutes and should be fine for the trip to the North East.
“It will be good to have Tim as his experience is useful when you have so many young players in the side,” Protherough admitted. “His hamstring kept him out of the Coventry game, which was a blow, and he tweaked it again before the Hull match but he came through okay.
“Afe looked good when he came on at Hull (for Mark Harrison) and we may look at starting him on the wing with Sam Pointon going to full-back.”
Moseley were convincing winners at Ionians last Saturday with the only negative for Protherough being the number of penalties conceded, which allowed the home side to stay in the game.
“We gave away a few too many and some of that was down to our eagerness to get off the line,” he added. “You give up one penalty and it then becomes a vicious cycle.
“We can’t afford to do that against what will be a strong Darlington side. They are a very good team and now the squad has been together three or four years, you can see they have built well.
“It will be tough but when we played them at our place it was one of those games we let slip through our fingers so we will go up there hoping we can continue building that bit of momentum.
“Where we have lost against teams in the middle tier of the league there hasn’t been much in the games and it has come down to individual errors. So while there might be a temptation to change things around a little and try new things, we also need to remember we are rebuilding at Moseley.
“We chopped and changed things in the first half of the season but we’ve seen what works now and it is time for some consistency and continuity wherever we can.”
That is likely to mean the pack that heads to Darlington will be similar to the one which played so well against Hull Ionians, though Ciaran Moore’s impressive 30 minutes off the bench might give Protherough a bit of a selection headache.
Source : BirminghamMail