What we have to try to do this weekend is find that spark again

Macclesfield Blues eventually got to play their postponed fixture at Hull Ionians last weekend. Sadly, the result was not what Macclesfield supporters had hoped for. The Blues but in a very spirited performance, but made two or three unforced errors and that ultimately cost them the game. However, with 35 points to play for, all hope is not yet lost. Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, still believes that even though Macclesfield Blues are sitting 18 points adrift at the bottom of National League 1, they have the ability and players to turn the season around. All they need is consistency and a slice of luck or two, starting at Darlington on Saturday. Here’s what Giles had to say.

Lots of effort, but little reward: is that the story of Macclesfield Blues’ season so far?

“Yes I think it probably is unfortunately. We done a lot of very good things, but at times we’ve also been our own worst enemy. In the interests of transparency as always, I should say that I was away with the England Counties at the weekend, so I didn’t see the game live. However, I’ve watched the game since and spoken to the coaching staff, so I’m fully aware of what happened.”

Has the relentless physicality of National 1 rugby started to take its toll on the players?

“I don’t know about that. A couple of people have asked me a similar question, and I’ve said consistently that rugby is a physical sport at every level. If you look at our injury rate this season we’ve been relatively lucky so far, touch wood: especially if you compare it to what happened two years ago and even two years before that when things were bordering on the catastrophic. During that season we weren’t even sure whether we were going to be able to field 15 guys on match days.”

“We haven’t been in that position this season fortunately. Granted the squad is a little thin at the moment, with Josh Fearns off to Australia and a couple of lads unavailable because of work commitments. Regardless of that I wouldn’t say that physicality has taken its toll on the squad generally. Naturally it does in games, but certainly not in the broader sense of the word.”

So, if physicality isn’t the difference, what separates the top sides in National League 1 from the bottom 4 or 5 sides in the division?

“The simple answer is about a quarter of a million quid. That money buys you better players it’s as simple as that. We’ve got some very talented players and we’ve managed to achieve some very good things, but unfortunately there are some guys who are not just up to it in this league. I don’t mean physically, but mentally: they struggle to cope with the speed of the game and don’t necessarily have the skills and experience to deal with match-day decisions and executing skills under pressure. Sure, you can try and replicate those conditions as much as you can in practice, but ultimately you’re either there or you’re not. Regrettably, we’ve probably not been.”

With 35 points still to play for but sitting 18 points off the pace, is it too late to mount a comeback?

“It’s never too late in my opinion. Yes, it’s a big ask, but we’ve not thrown in the towel by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve got games to play against teams who are sitting comfortably in the top half of the league with nothing to play for bar pride. So you never know what’s going to happen in games like that. All you can do is carry on going until you either stay up or you go down.”

Last time the blues played Darlington at Priory Park they won comfortably: do you think the team can replicate that performance away from home?

“That was one of the few games this season where we showed our true ability to mix it in National 1. I said to you at the time that Darlington were a well-established side in the League and that we had to be on our mettle when we played them. Obviously we were. One of the challenges we’ve faced this season has been to try and replicate performances like that: sadly, we haven’t been able to do that consistently. What we have to try to do this weekend is find that spark again.”

“It doesn’t really matter what Darlington say or do, what we have to concentrate on is us and our performance. The scoreline last weekend might have suggested that the game was a very one-sided affair, but it was still one of our best performances of the season. We did a lot of things right, but unfortunately we made 2 or 3 errors that cost us. This weekend is all about cutting out those errors and going out to do what we do best.”


Post navigation

#maccrugby

Worcester prop Nick Schonert hopes to build on another late season call-up by England coach Eddie Jones. More here 👉 bbc.in/2PpdgNo 🏉#bbcrugby

test Twitter Media - Worcester prop Nick Schonert hopes to build on another late season call-up by England coach Eddie Jones.  More here 👉 https://t.co/UOFRFOzkcD  🏉#bbcrugby https://t.co/0G3IcVvt3B

Please welcome @appleyardrugbyneoterics to #maccrugby as Attack Coach!! @frankybarker does the intro’s and gets to know the man with the most Yorkshire accent ever seen in Cheshire!! Full video at: youtu.be/2sDSCqdygqQ #maccrugbytv

1⃣5⃣ TEAM OF THE WEEK 🏉 We pick out the best players from the opening round of the @SanzarTRC following wins for the All Blacks and Springboks: skysports.tv/lgXSYB What do you think of the team? Who would you pick? #RugbyChampionship 🇳🇿 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇦🇷

test Twitter Media - 1⃣5⃣ TEAM OF THE WEEK 🏉  We pick out the best players from the opening round of the @SanzarTRC following wins for the All Blacks and Springboks: https://t.co/4qD10mwKMm  What do you think of the team? Who would you pick?  #RugbyChampionship 🇳🇿 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇦🇷 https://t.co/2JJqu360xc
test Twitter Media - 1⃣5⃣ TEAM OF THE WEEK 🏉  We pick out the best players from the opening round of the @SanzarTRC following wins for the All Blacks and Springboks: https://t.co/4qD10mwKMm  What do you think of the team? Who would you pick?  #RugbyChampionship 🇳🇿 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇦🇷 https://t.co/2JJqu360xc
test Twitter Media - 1⃣5⃣ TEAM OF THE WEEK 🏉  We pick out the best players from the opening round of the @SanzarTRC following wins for the All Blacks and Springboks: https://t.co/4qD10mwKMm  What do you think of the team? Who would you pick?  #RugbyChampionship 🇳🇿 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇦🇷 https://t.co/2JJqu360xc
test Twitter Media - 1⃣5⃣ TEAM OF THE WEEK 🏉  We pick out the best players from the opening round of the @SanzarTRC following wins for the All Blacks and Springboks: https://t.co/4qD10mwKMm  What do you think of the team? Who would you pick?  #RugbyChampionship 🇳🇿 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇦🇷 https://t.co/2JJqu360xc

Introducing the latest installment of the @canterburyNZ England Rugby training range 🌹 ➡ englandrugbystore.com/stores/ers/en/… #CommittedToTheGame

test Twitter Media - Introducing the latest installment of the @canterburyNZ England Rugby training range 🌹  ➡ https://t.co/Ozg7ctNOPO  #CommittedToTheGame https://t.co/V9FYdgmrB0

England and Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton faces a ban after punching Castres player Rory Kockott in a pre-season friendly. 👉 bbc.in/2OPKlky

test Twitter Media - England and Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton faces a ban after punching Castres player Rory Kockott in a pre-season friendly.  👉 https://t.co/oSy4lWU9lm https://t.co/8K69PToTTu

JOIN THE TEAM!!! Macclesfield Player sponsorships available for £250 each! Great marketing opportunities for getting your company name out there!!! Contact the club, player or coaching department to discuss!! #jointheteam #investinmacc #maccrugbyclub #maccrugby

test Twitter Media - JOIN THE TEAM!!! Macclesfield Player sponsorships available for £250 each! Great marketing opportunities for getting your company name out there!!! Contact the club, player or coaching department to discuss!! #jointheteam #investinmacc #maccrugbyclub #maccrugby https://t.co/TEJ5c9Qvog

✏NEW SIGNING ALERT Marshall has added the services of versatile front row (& wicket keeper batsman!) James Cross to the squad... 🏉 #maccrugby #Macclesfield #signing

test Twitter Media - ✏NEW SIGNING ALERT  Marshall has added the services of versatile front row (& wicket keeper batsman!) James Cross to the squad... 🏉  #maccrugby #Macclesfield #signing https://t.co/m6q5xaaUxP