If any supporter wondered how Macclesfield Blues would respond to relegation from National Division One, then the opening day victory against Darlington Mowden Park should have answered any questions emphatically. Macclesfield Blues impressive victory against their fellow promotion rivals at Priory Park set the tone for the first 4 months of the season: 16 games played with 15 victories, 12 bonus points and an impressive points difference of +315. The only blemish on an otherwise faultless 4 months was the solitary defeat to Birmingham Solihull, in a performance that Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett, described as a bad day at the office. Still, even the best teams can have an off day every now and then, can’t they? As we reach the half season turnaround Macclesfield Blues are sitting pretty at the top of National League Two North with a 2 point advantage over rivals Darlington and a further 3 point cushion over Stourbridge.
So what can we look forward to for the rest of the season? Well, according to Geoff and Andy, hopefully more of the same. Macclesfield Blues have got some tough games coming up over the next 5 months. First up at Priory Park will be local highfliers Sedgley Park, followed by tough fixtures against Stourbridge, Leicester Lions, Chester, Otley and Luctonians. Away from Priory Park Macclesfield Blues will face difficult challenges at Hull, Birmingham Solihull, Harrogate, Caldy, Preston Grasshoppers and finally the ‘big’ one – at Darlington Mowden Park on 26 April, 2014. All in all the next 5 months will be tough, but Macclesfield Blues have already shown how well they react to difficult challenges. Let’s just hope that the second half of the season goes just as well as the first.
How does Geoff and Andy see the next few months panning out? Well, they are cautiously optimistic shall we say. They certainly know that the Blues have the all the qualities to finish the season on top, but they are also acutely aware that a momentary lapse of concentration or loss of focus can alter the course of a season. There’s also the question of the weather to contend with too. So far the weather has been relatively benign, but all that could be about to change over the course of the next couple of months. All it would take would be one or two injuries to key players on frozen pitches and even the best-laid plans can be thrown into turmoil. That’s why Geoff and Andy never plan too far ahead. They believe it’s better to break the remaining games into manageable chunks, and set the players realistic and achievable goals like remaining unbeaten in January or February. It’s worked before and let’s face it, with the way the boys are playing, you wouldn’t bet against it.
Everyone here at Macclesfield Rugby Club would like to thank you all for your loyal support over the year. Your support really is vital to the team, and we hope we can continue to count on it over the next few months. We hope you’ve had a good Christmas break and we’d like to wish each and every one of you all the best for 2014.