All we can do is try to solve our defensive problems.

On some days rugby matches can’t go on for long enough. If you’re on top of your game and scoring for fun, you never want the game to end. On other days though, when you’re holding on for a result and not playing as well as you’d like, you want the referee to blow as soon as the time’s up. Saturday’s game against Rosslyn Park was one of those games. It was the second home game in a row that Macclesfield Rugby have lost on home turf at Priory Park. The defeat against Tynedale was deserved in many ways: the Blues were outplayed and outscored. The Rosslyn Park game was a different matter. Had the ref blown the whistle promptly on 45 minutes, Macclesfield would’ve come away with a 5 point win. But he played on for a further 2 minutes, in which time the opposition scored. The Blues had to take solace from 2 losing bonus points. So what did Director of Rugby and Head Coach, Geoff Wappett make of it? Is something fundamental going wrong, or was it just another one of ‘those’ days at the office we all suffer from time to time? Here Geoff talks to Macclesfield Rugby about defensive patterns, doggedness and determination, and looks forward to the weekend fixture against Coventry.

The loss to Rosslyn Park wasn’t one most people were expecting was it? Can the team regain its confidence in time for next week?

“Yes, of course they can. We played and we lost, it’s that simple. We still are confident and we’ll get back on track. There isn’t a problem as such. There’s nothing a straightforward win wouldn’t solve. It was touch and go right up to the end. We’d played for 46 minutes when they scored. It was just one of those games where you just weren’t sure how long they were going to play. The problem is that with some referees you don’t know where you are.  At the end of the day I thought we deserved the win. But, I guess 2 bonus points is some sort of consolation. We’re leaking points down the middle of the field, and we’ll address that problem this week.”

“What you can’t address is the fact that we didn’t kick our goals during the game. Of course you can practice place kicking, but some days it just doesn’t happen or go right, and you have to realise that there’s not much you can do about it. You have to accept it. Ross Winney made his way back into the team, and one of his major assets is kicking goals. Unfortunately, for one reason or anther he had a bit of an off day on Saturday. On any other average Ross Winney day we’d have won the game quite comfortably. We scored another 4 tries again, like Rosslyn Park, but you have to feel disappointed and sad that we only picked up 2 points, rather than 5.”

What are you going to concentrate on in training this week?

“Well, not attack, let’s put it that way. Scoring doesn’t seem to be a problem for us. We’re creating opportunities and taking them, so that’s good news. As long as you’re doing that, you’re always in with a shout of winning a game. But we’ve now got to work on ways of stopping the opposition from scoring. How we go about that will be the important thing. Obviously there are things we can do, but you don’t want to give all your secrets away do you? You never know who might read this. If you put too much emphasis on certain areas of the game where we think we might not be playing as well as we’d like, others may read our website and focus their game plan on those areas. All that will do is exacerbate the problem to my mind.”

“The thing is, we’ve had a few defensive problems all season, and even in pre-season to be honest. Since then we’ve worked hard to address these problems. Against Cambridge we managed to defend very well and that pleased me as they’re a very attack-oriented side. We thought after that we’d gone some way to solving our defensive problems. But the same problems reappeared against Tynedale, and they were still there on Saturday. So all we can do is work with the players we have and try to solve the problems. It’s just that we’re not getting the results we’d like. You can work on defensive patterns and figure out how you’ll defend against certain attacking situations, but none of that matters if you miss those first off tackles and don’t make the hits. We need to be more determined and more dogged. It might be that we need to make some changes in personnel in that area at some stage to achieve what we’re looking for. We’ll see.”

What are you expecting from the Coventry game?

“Well, I’m expecting a positive reaction from the players. Coventry have been playing pretty well recently. They set off without scoring many points, but they’ve managed to overcome that now. From what I read, they’re quite pleased and proud of their forwards, and are more than happy with their performances. We’ll need to be on top of our game to match them, though we’ll certainly be looking to take them on in the pack. I expect it will be a bit of a tussle. It will be interesting to see what the ground conditions are like, because it can be a bit heavy underfoot there, and that might influence the direction of the game. We’ll aim to match them in all departments and will definitely go into the game with a positive attitude.”


🗣️Another 2 class acts are in for 24/25 🏉Danny has been a growing talent for the past few seasons and is now ready to fire into National League Rugby! 💥 All rounder Phil Laing is absolutely brilliant wherever he plays, a true club man and he’s ready to go! 💪Danny is kindly sponsored by the Mayfield’s 🙏Phil is open to sponsor 📧 #macclesfield #local #community #rugby #oneclub #maccrugby National League Rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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We still have places left for teams to get involved 🔗BOOK NOW:👀💰 £600 Prize for the Men’s Open & £250 for the women’s 7s winners! 🤩🥇🏆Don’t miss a great day of Rugby 🏉 & sport including our new 5 a side football ⚽️ offer! Also Lacrosse🥍 will be full swing on the Saturday for anyone interested in seeing what it’s all about! #rugby #rugbysevens #rugby7s #cashprizes #WalkingRugby #womensrugby #communityrugby #football #lacrosse #Macclesfield #cheshire #rugbyclub #camping ... See MoreSee Less
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The End of Season Awards were presented at the End of Season Ball 2024 - a fantastic evening celebrating the end of a successful season which saw the 1st XV crowned champions of Premier North and promoted to National League Rugby 2 West. Our Macclesfield Womens Rugby XV went (virtually) undefeated and will now move into their first league from the 24/25 season and the 2nd / 3rd Xv celebrated their league achievements too! With thanks to all who attended - and all our supporters and sponsors throughout the year. The event was held in aid of the Cardiac Risk in the Young - Onwards we go into the 150th year for the Club and bring on season 2024/25!!!Full list of winners below!Chairman’s Player of the Season 23/24 - Tom Burden 1stXV Players Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Most Improved 23/24 - Tom Jennings 2ndXV Players Player 23/24 - Ted Broadley2ndXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Hector Tomlinson 2ndXV Most Improved 23/24 - Carl Droy 2ndXV Young Player 23/24 - Haydn Keogh 3rdXV Players Player 23/24 - Mathew Price3rdXV Most Improved 23/24 - Rupert Dixon 3rdXV Captains Player 23/24 - Mike Dale Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Tiegan Shaw Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Liz JarrattWomen’s Coaches Player 23/24 - Julia Ashford Women’s Most Improved 23/24 - Annie James Bert Ashley tankard 23/24 - Mel BramleyWomen’s Best Newcomer 23/24 - Chloe Newbigging ... See MoreSee Less
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🗣️Welcome to the club Dan Leake, the ex Rotherham Titans & Sale FC winger will be aiming to pile up the points from September. 📈The club wishes you all the best Dan!👍👏💥Become Dan’s sponsor and get a shout out every time he scores or is mentioned on our feeds. 📧 #welcome #macclesfield #community #rugby #oneclub #newsigning #newkidintown #support #sponsorship #opportunity ... See MoreSee Less
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This Volunteers Week we would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who help to keep our club running at MRUFC. If anyone is interested in volunteering at the club please contact us #nationalvolunteerweek #macclesfield #community #oneclub #volunteering ... See MoreSee Less
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