Sedgley Park 39 – 17 Blues

Macclesfield were left disappointed in the local derby as they recorded their second loss of the season.

Director of Rugby and Head Coach Geoff Wappett believed it was the giving away of soft tries that led to the result:

“We were giving away tries; it’s hard enough in this league, you will concede well-conceived tries because they’re good sides.

“What you can’t afford to do is give away soft tries and we’re being guilty of doing that, we must concentrate on improving that part of our game.”

The Blues played catch-up from the start, conceding two penalty-kicks in the first six minutes, scored by fly-half Steve Collins.

It took some time for Macclesfield to get settled in the first half, and Sedgley Park capitalised on this; their giant no. 8 Juan Crous scored their first try at the ten-minute mark.

Collins scored the conversion to give the home side an early 13-0 lead.

Macclesfield showed signs of coming back, with their first points coming from Captain Tom Eaton’s penalty kick.

The Tigers response came from Richard Oxley, who scored his first of three tries after strong pressure from the home side at 23 minutes.

 In the ten minutes before half-time Macclesfield showed their grit and determination once again, with Matt Rhodes and Josh Fowles working well together in an attempt on the left wing.

Tom Davenport showed great vision by sitting up Elliot Brierley for Macc’s first try. Eaton scored the conversion to bring Macc closer at 20-10.

Macclesfield continued with the same momentum after half-time, and it didn’t take long for David Blackwell to score his first try of the season, narrowing the gap to just 20-17.

Play was stopped for five minutes, as Sedgley Park’s Conor McGrath was stretchered off for an injury received in a ruck.

Sedgley Park came back stronger after the break, with Oxley adding his second converted try to trigger a spell of dominance for the home side.

After a period of possession for the Blues high up the pitch, Macclesfield were penalised and Matt Owen was sin-binned, switching the possession back to the Tigers.

Despite this the Blues dug deep and searched for a way forward. Try-scorer David Blackwell looked strong going forward, but failed to break through.

A mazing run from Oxley was stopped by a big tackle from winger Edd Stobart, as the team tried to switch possession and find a way back into the match.

An impressive performance from Oxley was capped off by his third and final try, giving Sedgley Park a 32-17 lead after 63 minutes.

Their final chance came in the last minute, as Chris Wilkinson broke through and scored. Substitute Andrew Riley scored the conversion as the full-time whistle went.

Wappett added after the game: “We got off to a difficult start; we conceded penalties in the first five minutes and it was difficult to develop the game when the penalties were coming thick and fast like that.

“Overall the performance was better than last week considering we were away from home.

“We settled eventually, and in the last 10 minutes of the first half we got the try and were starting to look like we had the edge to come back. That was the message at half-time.

“But we are still giving tries away, we have to smarten up our concerntration. We have to work harder at integrating the new players.

“We’re still waiting for the return of Frankie Barker and Billy Robinson, which has caused the introduction of one or two younger players, who were brought into the club to develop over a time.

“I didn’t want to rush that, but that was beyond our control. They did very well though considering their instant development.

“Next week I think we should have Alan Marsh, Will Bordill and Ryan Parkinson available to us against Ealing.

“They were second last year, but we went to Ealing last year and beat them there, and we drew at home.

“I’m hoping that we all work hard this week, we’ll need to work towards nullifying one or two players that Ealing have got, they’ve got a lot of pace on their wings.

Macclesfield host Ealing next week on 15th September in a tough fixture for the Blues, who will be hoping to replicate last year’s success against them.

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