Esher 35 – 3 Macclesfield

Esher claimed a five-point victory at home against Macclesfield after five converted tries proved too much for the Blues.

Captain Tom Eaton’s penalty goal was the only consolation for the visiting side as the Blues struggled to convert try-scoring opportunities.

Blues Head Coach and Director of Rugby Geoff Wappett said, “It’s always disappointing to lose, but they’re a quality side and they’re obviously even more of a threat when they’re at home.

“I thought in the first half, if you strip that game down, we had marginally more position than they had, it’s just that we looked so fragile whenever they had the ball.

“We banged away and worked hard, and did an awful lot of good things without actually getting any reward for it.”

Macclesfield kicked off and soon took back possession; Eaton and Hooker Tom Cruse in particular were impressive going forward.

Esher began to demonstrate their power as big tackles stopped the Macclesfield attacks, the ball turned over for the home side to counter-attack.

After eight minutes a strong Esher driving maul gained 20 yards of field position, the ball was kicked out wide to Andrew Wright on the right wing, who passed inside to full-back Charlie Walker to score an impressive try.

Fly-half Gareth Morgan converted to give Esher a 7-0 advantage.  Minutes later No. 8 Jack Clifford doubled their lead as he charged through the centre of the pitch, Morgan was on-target again with the conversion.

Macclesfield hit back after the restart, a foul on Jack Moorhouse allowed Eaton to score the penalty to go 14-3.

The Blues took advantage of the momentum; however the poor weather made handling an issue and the ball turned over after a fumbled pass.

After 20 minutes Centre Chris Elder scored another soft try, Elder also converting after Morgan’s substitution.

Macclesfield continued to create attacking chances; Alan Marsh in particular came close, however the attacks broke down against a resilient Esher defence.

Esher’s Richard Smart scored their fourth try to gain the bonus point just minutes before half-time, Elder converted again to give the home side a 28-3 advantage going into the break.

Ollie Frost saw yellow soon into the second-half after conceding a penalty in a lineout, allowing the Blues to hold possession and continue to find attacking opportunities.

At the 59th minute Charlie Walker scored his second converted try, after kicking it to himself into space behind the goal line, latching onto it to go 35-3.

Macclesfield held on for the remainder of the match, Ed Stobart in particular was a thorn in Esher’s side as they attempted to press down the left wing.

The referee blew the whistle for full-time, giving Esher a well-deserved win and bonus point, while the Blues returned home empty-handed.

Wappett added after the match: “That first try looked better than it was, what happened was that they were smart enough and sharp enough to recognise the opportunity to execute it so in that sense it was a good try.

“Relatively speaking, they did marvellously well with the very small piece of attacking situations, whenever they had an attacking situation It seemed as if they converted it into points

 “Whilst they were a couple of really well worked tries, they were helped enormously by us; the first try certainly was because we were out of position.

“The second try came from them winning our lineout ball and a couple of pretty indifferent tackles that led to the score so we were 14-3 down pretty rapidly.

“We could blame ourselves for that but they were obviously very athletic, dynamic, and hard to hold and in the second half we showed a lot of bottle to get the ball and keep it for long periods.

“We made much more of a nuisance of ourselves; we weren’t bullied and knocked about in quite the same way as in the first half.

“Consequently they only scored the one try and we at least threatened on a number of occasions without getting anything for it so it’s disappointing.

 “I think Ed Stobart has been really good in recent weeks, he’s been very lively, and the other guy who I’m pleased with is Elliot Brierley.

“This was his third really impressive, dynamic game on the trot. I thought Matt Rhodes played better today, a lot of life in Matt, but we’re just not converting those positions that I’ve talked about into anything of worth.”

Next week the Blues have a weekend off in the National League One, the next match comes on the 8th of December as they host Wharfedale for a 3.00pm kick-off, follow the Twitter updates here: https://twitter.com/MaccRUFC

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