They think it’s all over. Well, it is now, or more precisely it was with a couple of minutes to go against Coventry last weekend. Some critics have suggested that Macclesfield Blues’ rich run of winning form is down to nothing other than luck. Don’t mention that to Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett. In his opinion they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried. You make your own luck in rugby, and the harder you try the more luck you’re likely to get. Macclesfield Rugby caught up with Geoff this week ahead of the crunch match with in-form Fylde at Priory Park this weekend. Here’s what Geoff had to say.
You’re now being called the form team in the league: is that an accurate reflection of where Macclesfield Blues are at?
“Everything’s going swimmingly at the moment. People are referring to us as the form team of the league, which I guess is true, in spite of our current position. It’s interesting really, the Rugby Paper were chasing me on Monday for an interview about our good run of form. Needless to say I declined. The paper only comes out once a week on a Sunday, so I would’ve looked a clown if I’d done the interview and then we lost on Saturday. Sometimes it’s best to keep your head down and keep your own counsel.”
It’s great to win consistently, but would you prefer it if the winning margin was slightly more comfortable?
“If you ask me that question two thirds of the way through a game it would be easy to answer. At the end of the day you’re just relieved and glad that you won – however narrowly. Still, there’s no doubt about it that when you score towards the end of the game like we did against Coventry, it gives them very little time or opportunity to fight back. So I guess that’s to our advantage. But yes, I’d prefer the winning margin to be wider – if only for the sake of my health and my nerves.”
Why have the previous few games all gone down to the wire?
“I honestly don’t know why or how it’s happened. If you wrote that story up people would never believe it. There’ll no doubt be some people who’ll put it down to luck, but I’d have to disagree with them there. We deserved to win that game because over 80 minutes we deserved to score more points than Coventry and we did. Nobody ever suggests you’re lucky if you score in the first two minutes, do they? All I would say to those who suggest we’re lucky is that the harder we work, the luckier we get.”
“The boys worked extraordinarily hard and took the game to Coventry. We did everything but score, whereas Coventry just defended – and resolutely at that. The thing is if you hammer away at it long enough, something will eventually register. Obviously I’d love it if we could score 4 tries in the first half and be 30 points clear by the break, but realistically that’s unlikely, though it would do my blood pressure some good.”
So are you expecting that 4 try performance this weekend against Fylde?
“Not really, though they have conceded a few points. The funny thing about the league this year is it’s so unpredictable. Take Coventry for example. They’d gone to Blackheath the week before they came to Priory Park on the back of a 3 game winning run and beat them 30 – 8. Then they came to us and lost. So you really never know what’s going to happen.”
“Our performances have been up and down against Fylde. We beat then 4 times home and away during the time I’ve been at Macclesfield. Since we’ve both been in League One we’ve lost 3 on the bounce. Mind you in all 3 of those games we played well for the first hour or so and gave a good account of ourselves. Fylde just tend to come strong with their fast runners in the last 20 minutes, and we’ve struggled to contain that. I hope that won’t be the case this weekend. We’re getting better and better as the weeks pass, so we’ll see how we go.”