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Fylde 36 – 22 Macclesfield

Macclesfield Head Coach Geoff Wappett has urged his side to “overcome our generous streak, then we can start to win some games,” after the Blues lost 36-22 at Fylde on Saturday.

The Director of Rugby added: “We need to stop gifting 20 points a game away; as chances are we’re making errors that the opponents are cashing in.”

Macclesfield suffered defeat in the North-West derby after a Blues comeback was left too late.

Elliot Brierley, Jack Moorhouse and Edd Stobart all capped off impressive performances with a try each, however Fylde put five past the Blues to take all five points.

Macclesfield welcomed back Matt Owen into the second row, whilst centre Elliot Brierley moved to the wing to replace the unavailable Josh Fowles.

The visitors got off to a good start, as Captain Tom Eaton scored a penalty goal to take an early 3-0 lead.

Fylde took back the possession, forcing Macclesfield to bravely stop an attack as the home side’s Paul Arnold threatened down the left wing.

After 10 minutes Tom Davenport gave the travelling fans cause for concern as he hobbled off with a recurring hamstring injury, to be replaced by Chris Townsend.

Minutes later Ben Rath scored on his debut for Fylde, finding the gaps in the Macclesfield defence too easily as he touched down by the posts.

Chris Johnson converted from fifteen yards out to take back the lead.

After the first quarter, Stobart continued to impress as he gained valuable ground before switching the ball out to Brierley, who was able to continue his impressive try-scoring record so far this season.

Eaton converted to bring the Blues back into the lead, however the advantage was short-lived as Fylde’s Robert Stewart was the scorer after a driving maul crossed the Blues line.

The conversion brought the score to 14-10 at the break, both sides coming close with scoring opportunities with the Blues just behind.

Fylde fly-half Chris Johnson scored another penalty just four minutes into the second half as Stobart saw yellow after a dangerous tackle.

A shocked Macclesfield was then hit with two back-to-back converted tries in five minutes, The 14 points delivering a massive blow to the Blues chances of taking home a victory.

The first came from winger Oliver Brennand, who had been looking threatening with his pace all afternoon.

The ball was switched out wide from a deep position on the pitch, the winger running the length of the pitch to cap off an impressive move.

Full-back Oliver Viney then added the second as a Blues pass was intercepted and punished in a quick counter attack to bring the score to 31-10 with 20 minutes to go.

Fylde’s Chris Briers then saw yellow, allowing Jack Moorhouse to start a late Blues resurgence. His try came after several chances high up the field, forcing Fylde to defend desperately.

Edd Stobart then capped off an impressive performance with a try after 72 minutes, however the comeback was too late in the making.

Fylde took back possession in the closing moments of the game, substitute Ryan De La Harpe scoring their fifth try as the final whistle went, the conversion off-target to make the final score 36-22.

Geoff Wappett said: “At 14-10 at half time it was anybody’s game, we looked as good as they did, neither side were functioning all that well but it was up for grabs.

“After half-time we looked as though things were going to change in our favour. Then we lost the ball and one of their guys went racing towards the post.

“Edd Stobart had to make a tackle and stop him, in doing so giving away a penalty and receiving a yellow card; that was the turning point in the game.

“They kicked the penalty three points, scored 14 while Stobart was off the field and we went from 14-10 to 31-1, the game was lost.

“After that happened, we worked hard, and tried hard, but that was it. A mad ten minutes and the whole game changed.

“To be fair to Fylde they took their tries very well, one was a nice piece of handling by them. But both 90 yard tries shouldn’t have happened. On another day we might have won it.

“In the end the score-line was not indicative of the game, but that was the score-line nonetheless.

 “We had periods in the game where we gave points away, where we were careless and made errors. At this level errors are unforgiveable because they usually result in tries.

“When we brought it back to 31-22 it was good, however when they kicked off after our last try we gave away two consecutive penalties which resulted in us getting stuck in the bottom corner of the field.

“We needed to take the kick-off, look after it and start another attack, hence we let them back into the game and that was the end of it.

“It didn’t help us losing Tom Davenport after 15 minutes; his injury came in trying to avoid a try being scored. We’ve lost him for at least two, three, maybe four weeks with a hamstring injury.

“We’re capable of beating anybody in this league, we’re not actually doing it but we are capable.

“We looked as though the last home game that we could have and should have beaten Richmond. I think we can and might beat Blackheath next week.

“But talk is cheap; Blackheath have had a good start to the season and have picked up some good results.

 “It’s not as though we are being hopelessly outclassed, we are for the large part beating ourselves and we have to stop doing that.”

Next week Macclesfield take on Blackheath at home for a 3pm kick off. If you can’t make it down to cheer on the Blues, follow the updates throughout the game here: https://twitter.com/MaccRUFC.

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