Wilmslow 5 – 37 Macclesfield

The Blues took victory on Friday night against a much weaker Wilmslow side.

However it was only in the final 15 minutes that Macclesfield were able to show their dominance, scoring four tries in ten minutes.

The final result stood at 5-37, however Director of Rugby and Head Coach Geoff Wappett was unhappy with the poor showing in the first half:

“The passing was too deliberate, everyone was concentrating on not making a mistake and it was slowing the game down.

“We should have converted some of that activity into points, had we done that we might have settled down earlier.

“We made several good line breaks, Tom Cruse made one, then Dave Hague, and I’m just disappointed that we didn’t turn some good clear cut breaks into points.”

New signing Tom Cruse gave Blues fans an early indication of what they can expect this season, as he made a blistering run up the pitch in the first minute.

The visiting side controlled the possession from the kick-off, however the handling was sloppy and progress was slow up the pitch.

Wilmslow had their first attack after ten minutes of play, however strong defending from a ruck at Macclesfield’s five metre line meant possession was switched once again.

After a good run by Jack Moorhouse, Wilmslow made some big tackles and switched the play, with a fast counter down the left.

Macclesfield finally scored their first points after 25 minutes, with Henry Ravenscroft, who slipped to the right to edge past Wilmslow’s back line.

With the kick missed, Macclesfield were in the lead at 0-5.

Wilmslow replied by coming straight back on the attack, Tom Mantell and Pete Board did well to push back the attack.

After some strong pressure, Wilmslow were awarded a scrum high up the pitch, but they failed to break the Blues back line.

Bruce Lacey was the second person to add to the score sheet, with an unconverted try five minutes before the half time whistle, making the score 0-10.

In the last play of the first half Wilmslow were on the attack. A kick out wide was caught by a winger in space, who had the time to run over the line and score Wilmslow’s only try.

The second half started similarly to the first, with Macclesfield in possession but failing to make it count.

Sam Moss made a strong break past the back line but couldn’t keep the pace to get away and was tackled.

The Blues finally broke through on the 60 minute mark, with Dave Hague the scorer. The kick was missed again, and the score stood at 5-15.

A rare comical moment occurred when the Wilmslow prop was passed the ball out on the wing close to Macclesfield’s line.

Wilmslow’s no. 1 panicked at the sight of the Macc players bearing down on him, and threw the ball into the air behind him, just before he was flattened by a big tackle from Moorhouse.

The scrum led to a change of possession, and minutes later Dave Hague was able to score his second try of the match after 70 minutes.

After a pass from Mantell, Hague dummied two players to turn through the defence and touch down, making it 5-20.

The Blues were clearly getting settled into the game, as Moorhouse and Dave Marwick earned themselves impressive tries in the last seven minutes. With both kicks missed, the score going into the final whistle was 5-30.

New signing Tom Cruse, who had looked impressive throughout the game, scored the first converted try in the final moments of the game.

Wappett was encouraged by Cruse’s performance: “Tom is a class player. I’m delighted that we’ve got him.

“He’s an outstanding young man and he’s going to be a real asset to us.

“In the second half Wilmslow were tired. There were people lying down with cramp and one thing or another, so in the last 20 minutes we just ran then into the ground and got a lot of points.

“Prior to that some of our skills weren’t as good as I’d have liked.

The Blues will come up against recently relegated side Birmingham this Saturday in their final friendly of pre-season.


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