We need to inject more physicality into the breakdown if we want to continue winning

Any supporter who predicted a nailed-on home win ahead of Saturday’s clash against Sheffield Tigers will have had an uncomfortable afternoon. Sheffield came to Priory Park with a definite game plan – and that was to make life as difficult as possible for Macclesfield Blues. In that they definitely succeeded. What any supporter wants from their team in these circumstances is resilience. They want their team to show courage, fight and determination. Thankfully that’s what they got. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but it was the result that mattered. Macclesfield Blues’ narrow victory keeps them top of the league going into the Christmas period. But what did Coach Andy Northey think? How did he see the game? Here’s what Andy had to say when we caught up with him before Christmas.

Was that result too close for comfort, or where you expecting a battle anyway?

“Yes it was a lot closer than we would’ve wanted and we would’ve liked it to be a lot more comfortable than that, but Sheffield Tigers came with a plan and they stuck to it. They attacked us up front, much like Preston had done the week before, and we just didn’t cope with it too well. Our execution and skill levels let us down on the day. It’s been a problem for the last couple of weeks and it’s something we’ll need to address for the second half of the season.”

“When you go into games like this, and by that I mean against teams who are struggling in the league, there’s an expectation that you’re guaranteed to pick up 5 points every time you play. The fact is it was a relief to come away with 4 points and a win. When you’re expected to win, and to win comfortably, it puts an added pressure on the team which they could well do without. What’s vital is that you win the game after all: bonus points are exactly that – bonus points.”

In spite of the result what pleased you about the performance?

“I think it was probably the fact that we showed a lot of character. We were struggling with form, but we dug in and came away with the win. Sheffield made it difficult for us, but we showed that we had the bottle to tough it out.” 

The match reports suggest that the Blues were dominant in the scrum but struggled at the breakdown, what seemed to be the problem?

“Well, I don’t really like to criticise referees as it serves little point, but I have to say the refereeing of the breakdown was a little bit erratic. Let’s call it loose for want of a better word. I felt he didn’t deal with certain things well, like the tackler releasing. There was only one penalty in the game for not releasing and that was given against us, yet Sheffield left several players in and around the ball at the breakdown throughout the game. That meant we couldn’t really generate any pace. For us that’s a problem, as we’re at our most dangerous when we can put pace on the ball.”

“That was the issue we tried to address at half time, and the team went out with the message, lift the pace and inject some speed in the game. When we managed to up the tempo we looked very dangerous and caused Sheffield trouble. We’d talked about injecting more physicality into the breakdown in training during the week, as we’d encountered problems in this area with Preston the week before. Obviously it’s something we’ll have to keep working on in the New Year.”

 What does 2014 hold for Macclesfield Blues?

“Well, we’re just past the halfway point of the season and we’re sitting pretty. From now on though, the challenges will get tougher and tougher. There are 3 or 4 teams, Darlington, Stourbridge, Sedgley and us who have dominated so far, and I can’t see any reason why that will change during the second half of the season. We’ve all played each other once, and we’ve got a good idea of how teams play: so that usually makes the second half of the season more difficult than the first. You’ll also need to factor the weather into that too. So far the weather’s been relatively benign: yes we’ve had wind and rain, but so far no snow or frozen pitches. When the weather turns nasty it adds yet another complication. But our focus remains clear. We’re top of the league, and if we want to remain there, we have to continue playing our best rugby. The priority is to win matches: bonus points, if and when they come, are a bonus like I said. If we can keep playing well, then we’ll be in the mix at the end of the season and can hopefully challenge for the title.”

#maccrugby

👏11 players 1 coach & TR from Macc involved in the final at HQ! 8 of the lads have come from our Mini & Youth section 💥The County XV to take on Oxfordshire at Twickenham Stadium tomorrow!All are welcome to travel to HQ to support the lads, and if that's not possible, it will be livestreamed on England Rugby Youtube! 📺 I’m sure you will join us in wishing the Macc lads and the Cheshire RFU squad all the best 👏👏🏆#macclesfield #local #community #rugby #CountyRugby #cheshire #maccrugby ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
🗣️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
View on Facebook
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
View on Facebook
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
View on Facebook
🗣️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
View on Facebook
0
    0
    Your Basket
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop