With 6 wins from 6 games and an average of 5 tries a game, we’ve been doing pretty well: but, believe me, there’s much more to come

If anyone had expected a walk over last weekend, then they would’ve been sorely disappointed. Chester scrapped for every single point and forced Macclesfield Blues to dig deeper than they’ve had to so far this season. In an attritional game lacking in too many try-scoring opportunities, Macclesfield Blues emerged victorious with a narrow one point victory. But it was hard work – harder than many had expected it would be. However, that didn’t come as too much of a surprise to Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett. He told Macclesfield Rugby last week that he expecting a reaction from Chester after roundly losing to Sedgley Park. The home team certainly didn’t disappoint on that score. So what were Geoff’s thoughts after the game? Was he simply relieved that the Blues managed to keep their unblemished record, or was he thankful that his team had been pushed all the way and forced to dig into reserves that so far hadn’t been called upon? Well, we think you can probably guess.

That proved to be a tough old game: were you expecting it to be so close and so attritional?

“It was a tough old game alright: they were really up for it. There was obviously a fair bit of emotion in their game, maybe because of last week’s defeat. Whether they can summon that emotion up again – who knows? I have to say in all honesty that were clearly by far the best side we’ve played to date. They created all sorts of problems for us and made us work for every point. So, given that, I was glad we came away with four points.”

Did the closeness of the game give you any new insights about your team?

“Well, in a sense it did, because Chester forced us to work. We had to battle for everything and fight for the points. Previously I wouldn’t say the points were given to us, but we didn’t have to scrap for them in the same way. They started off pretty well, but we were our usual generous selves and gave them 7 easy points. Maybe in hindsight that was the wake-up call we needed, as it shook us up and we then started to play. It paid off after a while. The very first time we kept hold of the ball and put a few phases together we scored a try wide out on the left. That was followed by a couple of other try-scoring opportunities after keeping hold of the ball well. The only problem was when we didn’t manage to retain possession Chester came back at us. Fortunately both teams were guilty of trying to do too much with the ball too soon, so their attacks broke down. It was only when Dean Williams was yellow carded just before half time for an infringement at a ruck that they had the numerical advantage to make us pay.”

“In the second half I wouldn’t say we were absolute in our control, but I don’t think they ever really threatened us until the final penalty kick. Even when Ed Stobart was yellow carded I still think we had the bulk of possession and chances. We managed to get the score back to 14-12 without necessarily being in absolute control. It was only after Tom had converted the penalty that our forwards took control and closed the game out. Was the game how I expected it to be? Well, no, not really. Did we deserve to come away with 4 points? On balance I’d probably say we did, but it’s always the same in these types of games. If you lose by a point you’re considered to be unlucky – if you win by a point the opposite holds true. I wouldn’t agree with that – obviously.”

What lessons can the Blues learn from the Chester game?

“I think that playing in such a close game will be good for the team. Yes, it was closer than we would’ve liked, and it was hard-fought and attritional, but I think it will probably have given the team a kick up the backside. Maybe that’s what they needed. Don’t get me wrong: we didn’t play well, but we certainly didn’t play badly. The fact was Chester put us under a lot of pressure, and any mistakes we made weren’t made through a lack of concentration or effort, those mistakes were forced, by a team intent on giving everything to get a result. We had to earn our victory and fight for every bit of possession and I feel that will serve the team well in the coming months. Nothing comes easy: the best things always have to be worked for and earned. Was the game a lesson in what we’ll almost certainly face during the course of the season? Well, yes, it was, but it fortunately wasn’t a costly lesson. The best thing about it was it’s given us something clear-cut to work on this week. Our set piece wasn’t as strong as it has been, and that had a knock on effect to the rest of our game, barring the mid-field defence which stood up well under Chester pressure.”

What are you expecting from the Harrogate game this weekend?

“Well, we’ll work on the points I’ve already mentioned and make sure our attacking play is as good as it has been. If we can put it altogether, then Harrogate are going to find it hard to beat us. If we stand off and let them play, they’re good enough to get something out of the game. All we can do is concentrate on our own game. We’ve been pretty good so far this season with 6 wins from 6 games with an average of 5 tries a game, but there’s much more to come. When we get Chris Townsend back at scrum half and Tom Eaton gets back to playing 10 we’ll have the balance back in the team and will be a very difficult side to beat.”


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🗣️Another 2 class acts are in for 24/25 🏉Danny has been a growing talent for the past few seasons and is now ready to fire into National League Rugby! 💥 All rounder Phil Laing is absolutely brilliant wherever he plays, a true club man and he’s ready to go! 💪Danny is kindly sponsored by the Mayfield’s 🙏Phil is open to sponsor 📧 andy@maccrugby.co.uk #macclesfield #local #community #rugby #oneclub #maccrugby National League Rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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We still have places left for teams to get involved 🔗BOOK NOW: www.macclesfieldrufc.co.uk/macc7s/👀💰 £600 Prize for the Men’s Open & £250 for the women’s 7s winners! 🤩🥇🏆Don’t miss a great day of Rugby 🏉 & sport including our new 5 a side football ⚽️ offer! Also Lacrosse🥍 will be full swing on the Saturday for anyone interested in seeing what it’s all about! #rugby #rugbysevens #rugby7s #cashprizes #WalkingRugby #womensrugby #communityrugby #football #lacrosse #Macclesfield #cheshire #rugbyclub #camping ... See MoreSee Less
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The End of Season Awards were presented at the End of Season Ball 2024 - a fantastic evening celebrating the end of a successful season which saw the 1st XV crowned champions of Premier North and promoted to National League Rugby 2 West. Our Macclesfield Womens Rugby XV went (virtually) undefeated and will now move into their first league from the 24/25 season and the 2nd / 3rd Xv celebrated their league achievements too! With thanks to all who attended - and all our supporters and sponsors throughout the year. The event was held in aid of the Cardiac Risk in the Young - www.justgiving.com/page/david-wilkinson-1716536029293 Onwards we go into the 150th year for the Club and bring on season 2024/25!!!Full list of winners below!Chairman’s Player of the Season 23/24 - Tom Burden 1stXV Players Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Most Improved 23/24 - Tom Jennings 2ndXV Players Player 23/24 - Ted Broadley2ndXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Hector Tomlinson 2ndXV Most Improved 23/24 - Carl Droy 2ndXV Young Player 23/24 - Haydn Keogh 3rdXV Players Player 23/24 - Mathew Price3rdXV Most Improved 23/24 - Rupert Dixon 3rdXV Captains Player 23/24 - Mike Dale Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Tiegan Shaw Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Liz JarrattWomen’s Coaches Player 23/24 - Julia Ashford Women’s Most Improved 23/24 - Annie James Bert Ashley tankard 23/24 - Mel BramleyWomen’s Best Newcomer 23/24 - Chloe Newbigging ... See MoreSee Less
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🗣️Welcome to the club Dan Leake, the ex Rotherham Titans & Sale FC winger will be aiming to pile up the points from September. 📈The club wishes you all the best Dan!👍👏💥Become Dan’s sponsor and get a shout out every time he scores or is mentioned on our feeds. 📧 andy@maccrugby.co.uk #welcome #macclesfield #community #rugby #oneclub #newsigning #newkidintown #support #sponsorship #opportunity ... See MoreSee Less
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