Macclesfield were victorious in their first home fixture of 2013 after the Blues put in a convincing performance to beat Cinderford 35-24.
Tries from Tom Mantell, Matt Rhodes and two from Dave Marwick, as well as 14 points scored from the boot of Captain Tom Eaton, helped the Blues cruise to victory.
Director of Rugby and Head Coach Geoff Wappett praised the side for “looking a little bit like the Macclesfield of old,” also adding that his side were “well worth the victory.”
The Blues looked lively from kick-off, with good runs being made by Ed Stobart and returning centre Tom Davenport.
It didn’t take long for Dave Marwick to open the scoring after five minutes, Eaton was able to convert from close range to give Macclesfield an early 7-0 lead.
Cinderford fly-half Mark Davies and Eaton exchanged penalties to go 10-3 as the two sides enjoyed plenty of attacking chances.
The visitor’s first try came as a result of an unfortunate circumstance, as Jack Moorhouse saw yellow for deliberately putting the ball into touch to deny a try-scoring chance, for which a penalty try was awarded that Davies was able to convert.
Returning flanker Ryan Parkinson did not have much luck either, as he was forced to leave the field with a dislocated finger, making this his third serious injury of the season.
Cinderford were able to take control and will be frustrated by not scoring past the resilient Macclesfield defence, Davies in particular for missing a penalty from point-blank range.
Eaton showed good composure as he was forced to make several clearances as Cinderford piled on the pressure, their best chance coming from a tense driving maul on the Blues goal line that was expertly defended against.
Macclesfield were able to take back control as Moorhouse returned, and Eaton was able to score another penalty to take back the lead.
Marwick and Matt O’Regan put in a collection of impressive tackles towards the end of the first half to stop Cinderford’s rapid wingers, and the Blues entered the break with the advantage.
Eaton scored his third penalty soon into the second half, and a yellow card for Cinderford kicker Mark Davies was the turning point that allowed Macclesfield to put the game beyond doubt.
Tom Mantell and Marwick were able to score in quick succession as the Blues started to widen the gap between the two sides to 28-10.
Frankie Barker also showed good determination by kicking the ball up field from the defence, and making a big tackle on the Cinderford player just as he caught the ball to gain 30 yards of field position for the Blues.
Matt Rhodes was then able to score through the centre to go 35-10 up and secure the much-needed bonus point.
Mike Finnemore’s late yellow card sparked a late rally from Cinderford that saw Mike Wilcox and Nick Selway score late tries, both of which were converted by Davies, but it was too little too late from the visitors who went home empty-handed.
Wappett was delighted with the win and the performance and said: “That was a bit more like us; I thought we were a bit generous towards the end, but apart from that we deserved our five points.
“We had a really good 10 minutes, and then we started to give some penalties away which allowed them to get back into the game.
“The penalty try was a sorry one and we lost Jack, so we had to play 10 minutes without him. We did well to turn it around at 13-10 at half-time.
“In the second half we really got a hold of the game. We got to 35-10 and maybe we were a bit guilty of being a little bit casual towards the end, but relatively speaking the job was well done.
“There was a lot of good, aggressive rugby today. I thought Frankie Barker had a good game today; he’s had a good season for us. Billy Robinson had a big game, he destroyed their scrummage.
“Elliot Brierley in recent weeks has just got better and better and is playing extremely well, it’s good to have Tom Davenport back in the side as well and of course Tom Eaton kicked very well today.
“We need to go on a good run now, we’ve got a clear-cut target to extract points wherever we’re at, and we need to stay up. To a large extent it’s in our hands now.”
Next week Macclesfield travel down to Cambridge in the relegation scrap, follow the updates throughout the match here for the 2.00pm KO: https://twitter.com/MaccRUFC
15 – Matt O’Regan, 14 – Ed Stobart, 13 – Elliot Brierley, 12 – Tom Davenport, 11 – Jack Moorhouse, 10 – Tom Eaton, 9 – Matt Rhodes ,1 – Tom Mantell, 2 – Sam Moss, 3 – Billy Robinson, 4 – Dean Williams, 5 – Matt Owen, 6 – Dave Marwick, 7 – Ryan Parkinson, 8 – Frankie Barker, 16 – Dave Blackwell, 17 – Martin Kent, 18 – Mike Finnemore, 19 – Will Bordill, 20 – Chris Townsend