Despite a promising first half performance, Macclesfield Blues just didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome a dogged and determined Blackheath side. Although Blackheath scored 5 tries to Macclesfield’s 1, the home side acquitted themselves pretty well overall. What let Macclesfield Blues down was a lack of focus, according to head Coach, Giles Heagerty. The Blues were unable to maintain their concentration levels in the second half, and consequently were unable to cope with Blackheath’s most potent weapon – the driving maul. With upcoming games against the top 2 teams in the league, Rosslyn Park and Ealing, Giles believes Macclesfield Blues will have to stop hitting the self-destruct button if they are to stand any chance of surviving in National League 1. Here’s what Giles had to say when he spoke to Macclesfield Rugby this week.
Why do you think Macclesfield Blues lost to Blackheath?
“The simple answer to that is a lack of concentration. We performed well against Blackheath. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we prepared properly and acquitted ourselves pretty well. The first half was very pleasing, but our second half performance lacked focus. Having said that I think we actually played pretty well in the second half, but unfortunately we just made some catastrophic errors and that cost us the game. That put us under tremendous pressure.”
“Blackheath only really had one threat all game and that was their driving maul. They also had a very reliable kicker in their fly half. Because of that we knew that if we gave a penalty away in their 22, we’d find ourselves 6 or 7 metres out from our own line. Even though we knew what they were going to do, we continued to gift away territory through errors. We conceded 3 tries to a driving maul, 1 to a peel off and another one to a careless penalty we conceded unnecessarily.”
“What cost us the game was a lack of focus: we just weren’t able to get our emotions under control, and because of that we made some fundamental errors. You just can’t afford to that against a team like Blackheath.”
Next up you face the league’s top 2 sides. What are you expecting?
“Yes we ‘ve got a couple of tough games coming up with Rosslyn Park and Ealing, but to be honest we’re not looking past Rosslyn Park at the moment. It’s a unique experience playing against Ealing, and that’s something we’ll look to address next week.”
“We know Rosslyn Park pretty well, and we’ve been keeping an eye on their results. When they came to Priory Park we played pretty well I thought: we were well in the game until we had a couple of sin binnings.”
“Rosslyn Park do certain things very well and their coach, Alex Codling, has them very well drilled, but by their own admission they’ve not been playing the sort of game they would probably like to be playing. I expect most of their play to come through the forwards rather than from our wide, so what we have to be is far more disciplined than we were against Blackheath.”
“We have to play to our strengths and stop being the masters of our own downfall. I’ve no problem getting beaten by a better team, and that’s happened once or twice this season. However, I really don’t like being beaten by ourselves. That’s upsets me greatly. With only a few games remaining we really have to cut this self-destruction out of our game, and not gift points to opposing teams.”