After the disappointment of the Sedgley defeat, Macclesfield Blues were able to get their season back on track with a victory over local rivals Chester. The weather may well have been inclement, but the Blues were still able to put in a convincing performance and come away from Hare Lane with a bonus point win.
Last weekend’s victory at Harrogate may have extended Macclesfield Blues’ lead at the top of National League 2 North to 6 points, but it wasn’t necessarily a rugby match to set the heart racing. The weather saw to that. Both teams like to play open attacking rugby, but what should’ve been a thrilling match was ruined by the weather. The good news from a Blues perspective was that they were able to grind out a result never the less. Winning ugly might not be a philosophy that sits comfortably with rugby purists, but it’s a quality that all teams with aspirations to be the very best need. So next up, it’s Leicester Lions. Weather permitting we should be in for a great game when come to Priory Park this weekend. What can we expect on Saturday? Here’s what Head Coach, Giles Heagerty had to say.
After last weekend’s outstanding Priory Park performance against Sandal, you’d naturally assume the team would give themselves a pat on the back and bask in the glory of victory. After all, Sandal are by far the toughest team the Blues have faced so far this season. However, resting on your laurels is not a concept that holds much sway for Head Coach, Giles Heagerty. Although he was undoubtedly pleased with the way the Blues neutralised Sandal’s attacking threat, his mind immediately started to focus on the next game against Harrogate as soon as the final whistle went. For Giles’s philosophy is this: forget what’s gone- it’s history. It’s what comes next that matters. Here’s what Giles had to say to Macclesfield Rugby ahead of the Harrogate game.
Macclesfield Blues may have a week off from National League rugby this weekend, but the team won’t be sitting on their laurels. There’s the little matter of the Cheshire Cup Semi Final to consider before anyone thinks about taking it easy. Still, the break in the league campaign offers the perfect opportunity to get the thoughts and reflections of the league campaign so far from Head Coach, Giles Heagerty. How have the team fared? Have they performed to his expectations? Is he looking for more, and where does he want to see improvements? Oh and there’s the small matter of what he thinks will happen in the game against Sandbach at the weekend. Here’s what Giles had to say when he spoke to Macclesfield Rugby.
Most coaches would be happy to have started the season with a record of 6 wins out of 7, but Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, is not most coaches. He believes that a team should always seek to improve week-on-week and get better with every game. So despite the bonus point win against Otley at Priory Park at the weekend, Giles’ disappointment is understandable. His major concern was that Macclesfield Blues weren’t able to convert more of the many scoring opportunities they created. In the end it didn’t matter as the Blues were able to secure the win and the bonus point: but come the day when the Blues play the top teams in the league, the failure to convert chances may prove to be more costly.
Macclesfield got their sixth win on the bounce this weekend at home to Otley, the Blues won the game with another try scoring bonus point but head coach Giles Heagerty was still left frustrated with numerous elements of his team’s play. Macc ran out 38-27 winners, but it was the amount Otley scored, and the chances his team squandered.
“We talked before the game about raising our standards and getting out of our comfort zone, we’ve done enough, we’ve scored tries, got five points. But the lads are frustrated. Otley are a good side, defensively they took time to wear down, the boys reckon they’ve bombed about 10 good opportunities.”
The Blues will now have a busy week at training with plenty to build on, Heagerty believes his team can not afford to play like that again, as it could cost them further down the line.
“Its going to be a busy week, we never seemed to get into our system and I’m not sure why, we’ve conceded 20 plus points, if we do that every week we’ll come unstuck. They had a very strong set piece, and a good attack, theylooked sharp when they had the ball.”
Blues lock forward David Marwick earned the man of the match award after the game. The line out general looked solid throughout the game, and picked up two tries in the process to take him to seven, in six matches.
“Marwick is playing very well. He’s outstanding every week he goes out there and leaves it all on the field. He has a sniff for the try line at the moment I think he’s having a bit of a competition with Ryan Parkinson. He has a good rugby brain, and does some really good things for us at the lineout.”
The Blues face Luctonians away next week, and Giles Heagerty knows his team must up their standards if they are to carry on their fine winning streak.
“They’re at home, and they’re always good at home, our away form has been streaky though so we really need to up our standards. It seems odd talking so negatively after having won a game, but we have to play better.
Macclesfield Blues showed great determination and character at Tynedale last weekend, coming back from a 6 point deficit at the break and scoring 35 unanswered points in the second half. As a coach you’d have to be thrilled with that sort of performance, would you? Well, yes, you would, but you also have to be able to see the bigger picture too. That’s the opinion of Head Coach, Giles Heagerty.
Following Macclesfield’s 30 – 19 victory over Darlington Mowden Park at the weekend, Blues’ Director of Rugby Geoff Wappett was satisfied with the win, but was happy to acknowledge that there is work to be done.
Macclesfield’s narrow win over Fylde was not enough to match Wharfedale’s 5-point victory over Cambridge on Saturday as the Greens overtook the Blues on the final game of the season.
After a difficult season Macclesfield have finished in 14th place, and will compete in the National League Two North next season alongside rivals Sedgley Park who finished in 15th.
When Macclesfield hosted Blaydon on the first game of the season, the club from Newcastle proved why they are a top 3 club with a 43-19 win, however on Saturday there did not look to be much in it between the two sides as the Blues fought for a three-point draw.