It had to end sooner or later, hadn’t it? After all, there’s only so long you can keep a winning run going. Most supporters would have put their money on a home win for Macclesfield Blues, but rugby’s a funny old game. In fairness to Birmingham Solihull, they came to Priory Park with a game plan, and left with a deserved win. What’s done is done: now is the time for re-building in Geoff Wappett’s view. Our Director of Rugby and Head Coach won’t make excuses for the disappointing loss. Macclesfield Blues had their chances and failed to take them, whereas Solihull defended resolutely and took their chances clinically. What matters now is rebuilding team confidence and getting back to winning ways, starting, hopefully, with a victory against Otley this coming weekend. Here’s what Geoff thought about the game.
So the winning run ends – you must be very disappointed
“Naturally I’m very disappointed, but these things happen. I suppose the result had an air of inevitability about it really. We’d won 10 out of 10, so it was always likely that the run would come to an end at some stage or other. I guess most Bookmaker’s would have had us odds on to win that game, but rugby is unpredictable at the best of times. Besides which if you don’t perform to your capabilities, then you can’t really complain. If I’m honest I would have to say that we played well below par, and Solihull played well. They deserved to win in truth.”
“We started off well enough, and I’d say we were in charge of the game for the first 20 minutes or so. Had we not wasted the opportunities we created we could’ve been almost out of reach. Solihull, for their part managed to kick a couple of penalties to keep themselves in the game. Towards the end of the half Solihull raised their game and scored a couple of quick tries. They were both good scores, but we were guilty of taking our eyes off the ball and letting them back in.”
So what went wrong?
“I’d definitely say we lost the game in the first half hour. We had most of the play and the field position, but we didn’t make the most of our dominance and failed to take our chances. Our approach work was as good as it’s been so far this season, but we fluffed our chances with the last few passes. After half time it looked like we were starting to play well again. We quickly got the score back to 20-17. I thought at the time that it was simply a matter of time before we took control. But we then went on to make numerous unforced errors, and that killed off any momentum we managed to build. I won’t make any excuses for the loss. Let’s just say it wasn’t a good day at the office.”
Where do you go from here?
“What we have to do now is draw a line under that game and look forward. We have to start rebuilding momentum and start over again. Nobody wins anything in November, but by the same token nobody loses anything either. We’ve had our blip now, so we have to work hard to make sure we don’t have any more blips for the rest of the season.”
What’s the news on Dave Marwick?
“The injury to Dave Marwick just before half time was real blow. The only good news was that Dave told me later on that evening that his ankle wasn’t broken. Mind you, he’s still got ligament damage so will be out for a number of weeks. We’re going through a bit of a bad time with injuries at the moment. We’ve lost Townsend, Baxter, Barwell, O’Regan, Barker and now Marwick out with longer-term injuries and that is no laughing matter – believe me. I’m not whingeing or making excuses: it’s just sad, not just for the team but for the players too.”
Are you looking to getting back on the horse and returning to winning ways this weekend against Otley?
“Otley are a decent side with some dangerous attacking runners. They had a decent game against Stourbridge on Saturday and scored 3 tries. Yet they struggled up front when they took on Leicester Lions. I would hope that they’d have similar problems against our pack of forwards on Saturday. What we need to do is ensure that we curb their running instincts. The best way of curbing the enthusiasm and effectiveness of good runners is to make sure they don’t get too much ball, and that’s what we’re intending to do.”