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Macclesfield 15 – 56 Ealing Trailfinders

Ealing cruised to a five-point victory after a strong second-half performance was enough to push them to top of the National League 1 table.

Despite a lively first half in which both teams took turns in taking the lead, five second-half tries from Ealing were enough to claim the win.

Geoff Wappett, Blues Director of Rugby and Head Coach, was critical of the second half performance; “We are still making too many mistakes, it’s as simple as that.

“At half time, 21-15, I thought we were in with a shout. The game was neither lost nor won at that stage and someone had to set about doing it.”

Macclesfield enjoyed a lively start, leading to a first minute penalty kick from Blues Captain Tom Eaton to give Macclesfield a 3-0 lead.

However the advantage was short-lived, as Ronald Mclean-Dents scored his first converted try five minutes later.

Winger Edd Stobart hit back after just two minutes, using his pace to escape the Ealing defenders and take back the lead.

The first quarter continued to be action-packed, as Morgan Thompson touched down for Ealing after breaking through from a scrum near the Macclesfield end, bringing the score to 10-14.

Stobart continued to impress for Macclesfield, and played a part in Matt Rhodes’ try after 17 minutes, with the Blues looking strong going forward.

Macclesfield’s Jack Scott-Sugden created a cause for concern as he hobbled off the pitch with an ankle injury ten minutes before half-time.

Peter Hodgkinson scored the final try of the half for Ealing to take back the lead, giving them the edge after a closely contested 40 minutes.

Ealing came back very strong in the second half, as Tim Brockett and Philip Chesters scored converted tries after just ten minutes of play.

Thompson and Chesters both added their second soon after, as Ealing began to dictate the match.

McLean-Dents scored the final try, touching down after 74 minutes to capitalise on Ealing’s spell of dominance.

“It was a shame because we scored two good tries, and we were pretty tidy in the first half,” Wappett added after the match.

“At half-time we had to tighten up a little and do more to stop them winning the ball. They were very threatening from their set pieces; they scored a try in either half from line-outs.

“I’ll give Ealing credit where credit’s due; they do move the ball well, they have real pace, and both the number 10 and the fly half are extremely good players.

“They shouldn’t have won with such ease as they did, but we played better than last week and there were some encouraging signs. We have to take a lot of thought from this game and build on that.

“If we’d have played as well as we did in the first half today against Sedgley Park we would have won that game, the same going for the Blaydon match.

“Our forward pack will be getting better and stronger as each week goes on, hopefully we’ll be going to Cinderford with a positive attitude.

“Cinderford have done very well, they’ve won two and drawn one, but we still have to go there and take them on.

“We’ve played them four times over the last two years, we’ve won three and lost one, so we have been to Cinderford and won before and we’ll be looking to do that again.”

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