Blues 19 – 43 Blaydon

Macclesfield suffered a 43-19 defeat at the hands of Blaydon in their first league match of the season.

Despite late tries from Kirk Robinson, Tom Cruse and Josh Fowles, the Blues were unable to gain control over the visiting side.

Director of Rugby and Head Coach Geoff Wappett was unimpressed with the performance: “I was pretty disappointed; we made far too many basic errors in that game.

“We missed a couple of early scoring opportunities when the game was still very competitive and our confidence fell and theirs grew.

“It was a shame because the game started to drift then and you could see one or two of them players react negatively.”

Blaydon enjoyed a strong start from the kick-off, capitalising on a line-out to progress up the field, for Jason Smithson to touch down after six minutes.

Impressive fly half Andy Baggett converted the try to push Blaydon to an early 0-7 lead.

Macclesfield had a brief spell of dominance, with the creative Jack Moorhouse working well with winger Josh Fowles on the left-hand side.

However possession was lost and Blaydon took to the offensive again.

A poor kick clearance from Macclesfield was capitalised by Blaydon, who drove down the wing. A last-ditch tackle from Elliot Brierley was not enough to stop Thomas Banks’ try after 13 minutes.

Three minutes later Blaydon struck again with a quick passing game up the pitch. The kick was missed to make it 0-19.

It was clear Macc’s confidence had been affected from Blaydon’s strong start, and after another Blaydon try the half ended with the score at 0-24.

Things didn’t get much better after half-time, as Banks scored his second try at just 41 minutes.

Macclesfield enjoyed several chances, with their best involving Matt Rhodes, who made a strong run, gaining ground up the pitch.

Their hard-work and self-belief paid off, as substitute Kirk Robinson broke through from a scrum. Captain Tom Eaton scored the conversion to give Macclesfield their first points.

Blaydon came back with immediate response, with Banks completing his hat-trick. The kick was missed to bring the score to 7-38.

Debutant Tom Cruse scored his first league try for the club after 75 minutes, with a mazing run through the Blaydon defence.

Fowles took advantage of the momentum the team were creating and scored after outpacing Blaydon with an impressive counter-attack.

However the resurgence came too late in the game and with one minute remaining winger Frazer Wilson scored for Blaydon to seal their victory.

The score at full-time read 19-43, and Blues will be hoping to learn from this performance to bounce straight back in one week’s time.

Wappett was perspective when thinking about the long term impact of the result; “this was the first game of a 30 day season.

“While that was nowhere near where we want to be in terms of performance, it’s the first game and we need to work very hard all season.

“It wasn’t all doom and gloom, we worked quite well for the tries, but we butchered a couple of early chances and that was a shame.

“When you don’t take your chances the opposition feel relieved and the opposition can grow with that.

“As we approach all the games, we’ll work hard at the various things that didn’t go too well, ball retention is certainly one and some set piece work as well.”

Blues will be hoping to turn their chances around next week when facing Sedgely Park in their first away fixture.

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