Following Macclesfield’s 30 – 19 victory over Darlington Mowden Park at the weekend, Blues’ Director of Rugby Geoff Wappett was satisfied with the win, but was happy to acknowledge that there is work to be done.
“That was fairly clear cut, we’d opened them up numerous times, but there were a number of line breaks that we didn’t convert into tries.
“We had enough possession to win five games,” added Wappett.
“From a critical point of view, we should have converted that in to more points than we did, but equally we played the right sort of game.”
The hosts were always in control of the match, their dominance was most evident at the set piece where they starved Darlington of any decent possession.
“We destroyed their scrum, we destroyed their lineout, they’ve got some good runners but you still need some ball.”
“It puts us in a really good position because we’ve got five league points out of it, we did some really good things and at the same time some of the things we need to work hard on are abundantly clear.”
The breakdown was a bit of a mess for the majority of the game and Macclesfield struggled to get the quick ball that their backline so desperately craved. This is something that Wappett admits needs to be addressed, because had the quality of ball been better, then the score line would have been a lot more one sided.
“We need to clear out quicker, smarter and we gave at least half a dozen penalties away for totally nondescript things which we need to address because each one of those are costly,” he explained.
Last season, Darlington finished third in National Two North, narrowly missing out on promotion, so this was a good test for the Blues and it shows them what they can expect for the rest of the season.
However, Wappett insists that his team will not be worrying about who they are facing, it is always nice to win the opening game but who it comes against doesn’t concern him.
“It’s always important to get off to a good start, but I’m not that bothered about other sides, I just concentrate on what we’re going to do because we don’t know enough about them.
“A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
Macclesfield had spent two seasons in National One, before being relegated last season. The experience gained by the players in that league gives them a huge advantage according to Wappett and it is something he wants them to draw upon this season.
“A lot of those players have National one experience and they know the pace and the physicality of the game in a league above.
“It’s important that we keep that, if we let that dissipate, if we start playing at the pace of National two sides, then you’re giving them a chance,” insisted Wappett.
“If we can maintain the pace of that league, then it will be to our advantage because there won’t be that many teams in the league that can live with us doing that.”
This week the Blues go on the road to face Sheffield Tigers, while the Lions are at home against Sale FC. The thirds face New Brighton 2’s away and the fourths are at home against Oswestry 2’s.