MIKE SCHMID has called for Esher to finish the season on a high against Moseley on Saturday despite being doomed to the Championship relegation play-offs. Esher were edged out in 45-42 thriller at Doncaster Knights last weekend to end their hopes of claiming a place in the top eight. That means Schmid’s side face home and away matches against Plymouth, Moseley and Birmingham in the play-offs with the bottom side relegated.
But Schmid’s side have plenty to play for against fellow strugglers Moseley with each team taking a point into the play-offs for every win in the regular 22-match season. Esher have won six so far and if they complete the double over Moseley, could hold a three-point advantage over Birmingham with the Bees facing a tough home clash against leaders Worcester in their final match.
Schmid said: “It’s important we finish the season well, not only to gain that extra point for a win but to make sure we have some momentum going into the play-offs. We’ve played some good rugby in recent weeks but cannot afford to start as slowly as we did at Doncaster, when we conceded three tries inside the first 15 minutes. But I was delighted with the attitude we showed in the second half. We were 21 points behind but came back and if we had had a couple of extra minutes might have won the game.”
But Schmid knows Esher face a huge test at home to Moseley, who are also finishing the season on a high and are unbeaten in their last five league and cup games. He said: “We beat them in our opening game but they have shown some excellent form recently and beat Rotherham at home last week. So we know we are going to have to be at our best and we can’t keep making it hard for ourselves by giving sides a lead and then having to claw it back.”
Esher were behind 19-9 to Rotherham and 12-0 down to Cornish Pirates before producing superb comebacks to take the spoils in their previous two home games. They almost made it a hat-trick of comebacks as they fought back from 42-21 down to lose 45-42 at Doncaster with in-form Gerard Mullen grabbing two tries and others coming from the impressive Seb Jewell, James Mackenzie and a late score from Shawn Renwick.
But Schmid warned: “We must be fully switched on for the full 80 minutes. There are times in games when we allow our concentration levels to dip and we concede sloppy tries. We must start better against Moseley and make sure we do not give away silly penalties, as we have done too many times this season.”