Blackheath 41-27 Macclesfield

25th March 2012

Second half yellow cards for Jack Moorhouse and Ryan Parkinson saw Blues slip to a fourth successive defeat as they lost 41-27 away at Blackheath.

Edd Stobart provided a shining light with a superb try double while Franky Barker sealed the try bonus point with the last play of the match, but it wasn’t to be enough to prevent a fourth straight defeat.

Director of Rugby and Head Coach Geoff Wappett said: “It was disappointing almost from start to finish.

“We have a small squad so consequently a few lads have played a lot of rugby and we just seemed to have lost a bit of the zip and intensity we had from a few months ago.

“Our set-piece didn’t function well enough and we had to play almost 20 minutes of the match with 13 men, so in some ways we did well but it wasn’t good enough.”

The game got off to a frenetic start as the home side utilised their dangerous backs to race to a 14-0 lead with two breakaway tries after 13 minutes, both of which converted by fly half Sam Windsor.

Ross Winney got Blues on the scoreboard with a simple penalty chance, but Blackheath responded with a third score of their own from Michael Canty.

Charlie Mulchrone, making his return from injury was viciously spear tackled just before the half hour mark, which went unseen by the officials, and in the same passage of play Stobart scored his first of the match, touching down in the corner, leaving Winney a difficult conversion attempt.

Convert it he did, leaving the deficit at 11 points going into half time.

After the break, Blues looked like a different side and began to exert some dominance with a driving maul moving almost half of the field, taking the resulting penalty which left the home side out of position.

Moorhouse made a storming run, off-loading well to Tom Davenport who found Stobart to complete his double.

Blues set-piece had been misfiring all match and a penalty for a scrimmaging offence allowed Windsor to restore the home side’s lead to nine points.

Moorhouse was the first of the two yellow cards for the visitors after being adjudged to have prevented a try scoring opportunity by obstructing the player from the kick through.

The pressure continued to be exerted by heath and another driving maul looking destined to cross the line, before Parkinson intervened, which didn’t go unnoticed by referee Tom Foley, sending the flanker to the sideline to join Moorhouse.

Blackheath were able to take advantage of the extra men immediately driving over for a fourth try of the match for the home side.

 Blues started to defend with gusto, not looking like a side playing with the equivalent of a rugby league side in terms of numbers, not giving the heath backs anything to work with.

With both players returning to the fray, the defence finally creaked one to many times and Lee Covington came off the bench to score a fifth try for Heath.

Martin Kent came on to sure up the front row and the versatile Matt O’Regan coming on to replace Davenport in the midfield.

O’Regan looked very lively early, breaking the line with ease and regularity and almost handed Stobart his hat-trick, but his sharp offload to Moorhouse couldn’t get to the winger.

When Parkinson went over to give his side a slim chance of a victory, fly-half Tom Eaton issued a rallying cry to his players to keep their heads up and fight.

Despite their best efforts, a pair of late tries put the result beyond doubt but a late Franky Barker try gave Blues a deserved bonus point with the final play of the match.

Coach Wappett added: “Edd [Stobart] was fantastic today, he couldn’t get enough of everything, and was so, so effective.

“[Matt] O’Regan looked very sharp and lively off the bench and has done himself no damage for a possible recall next week, as Ealing are another quick side and we will need pace on the field, not watching from the stands.”