The Blues left Rosslyn Park disappointed at the weekend, but still with their heads held high. The score line may have looked one-sided, but in the opinion of the Rugby Paper it was Macclesfield Blues who played all the rugby. Unfortunately, it was the home side that did the majority of the scoring. Still, lessons have been learned and a few tweaks have been made in preparation for the crunch match against Sedgley Park at Priory Park this weekend. These games are always tough, but Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett, thinks this match might be the toughest yet. Both teams need a result, and both are desperate to get some points to lift up the National One table. So what is Geoff expecting at the weekend? How will Sedgley Park approach the game? Here are Geoff’s thoughts.
Were you disappointed by the result, or was it almost expected?
“Yes I was disappointed. Obviously I always am when we lose a game, but it has to be remembered that Rosslyn Park are a quality side. That’s why they are where they are in the league. Equally what they have done is brought in an extra 4 experienced payers from London Scottish after some few contractual problems. Ealing also took in 2, so I believe. So they stiffened their squad even further an added some extra quality and experience. So what we faced was a better side than the one we met earlier in the season.”
In spite of the final score, did you think Macclesfield Blues played reasonably well?
“Yes – I thought we played some tidy stuff. Interestingly I read a report in the Rugby Paper which gave a fairly honest appraisal of the game. The reporter said we played most of the rugby, but they unfortunately did most of the scoring. And that assessment was about right. Our approach work was good, but we just couldn’t breach their defence. They were a very physical side with big heavy tacklers, and we just couldn’t match them. Rosslyn Park also had a lot of power and pace in their back division and they counter-attacked really well. They finished off with a couple of interception tries which kind of put a false gloss on a game that was tighter than the score line suggested.”
So what lessons do you take from that defeat?
“We know what we have to do to put matters right, and we’ll sort those out before Sedgley come to us at the weekend. That match is going to be very significant for both Clubs. It’s the sort of game where we’re going to have to put our shoulders to the wheel. Sedgley Park always bring a real workmanlike attitude to the game. They’ve been in situations like this before, and fought their way out of them. So we certainly won’t be underestimating them.”
What do you think of Sedgley this season?
“They’re a solid team, but they also play some good rugby. They’ve had injury disruptions and problems to deal with like we have, but they appear to have come out the other side intact. For our part, we certainly don’t look or play like a side that’s sitting at the bottom of the league. The Rugby Paper agrees on that. What we have to do is ignore these sorts of compliments and prove that those words are true. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser. All I do know is that it’s going to be a real battle, and the weather won’t make it any easier. It will all lie in which team defends best. That gives me some confidence as I think our forward pack is playing well, especially since Dean Williams came back into the team.”