Macclesfield Blues moved six points clear this weekend after their victory at Harrogate and results going in favour of The Blues elsewhere, including defeats for Sedgely Park and Caldy.
The Blues braved the tough conditions in North Yorkshire to ensure they came away with the win, and Harrogate for a short time in the second half held a lead. Harrogate had a set game plan that worked at times, but Head Coach Giles Heagerty insisted his team were very well prepared for it.
“There wont be many teams that come here and get the five points. The conditions played a part today. We knew Harrogate had some real strengths, we did a comprehensive preview on them and their kick to compete was ruthless, they really put us under the pump with that.”
With Harrogate’s kicking game plan, the absence of full back Matt O’Regan could have had a severe impact on the team and result. O’Regan was away with Ireland’s Sevens team as they continue their hunt for Olympic qualification. Greg Newton replaced him in The Blues line up with Charlie Venables moving to full back and both performed well, Heagerty is very happy with the strength In depth that he possesses.
“Most have already been involved this season, we’ve got some absentees over the enxt month and you’re bound to pick up injuries, so I’m happy that we’ve a large group of players that can come into the squad or players can move position and It be virtually seamless.”
Saturday’s result was the first time Macc have won this season without securing a try scoring bonus point. The conditions were not right for The Blues’ normal brand of running rugby, and Heagerty was happy his team showed the resilience to still secure a win.
“It wasn’t a vintage performance by any stretch, we’ve lent on our forwards pretty heavily there. Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly, you’ve got to have a plan a, b, and c. and today we certainly showed that.”
Outside centre Elliot Brierley kept up his fine scoring form against Harrogate, scoring his tenth try in as many games this season, Heagerty is more than pleased with his form so far this year.
“He’s in really good touch at the moment. Give him space and he’ll score tries, and when he doesn’t have space he manages to fight through anyway, its great to have him in the side.”