Rosslyn Park 35-12 Macclesfield
Macclesfield travelled south to London to face third placed Rosslyn Park looking for their third away victory of the season. Some poor first half defending from Macclesfield meant the home side had secured the win by half time, and despite a strong second half performance the game was won after 35 minutes.
The Blues were unchanged in the backline from last weekend but had a slight reshuffle in the pack. They lost Billy Robinson to a late fitness test which meant Shane Heffernan stepped up to the starting line-up, with Josh Hearn coming onto the bench. Ben Jones dropped to the bench, being replaced by Franky Barker with Mike Finnemore going into the second row.
The Blues took a hit early on when they lost Shane Heffernan, meaning the inexperienced Josh Hearn would have to play the vast majority of this contest opposite an England u20 international. Hearn performed very well and more than held his own in the scrum.
The hosts opened the scoring on ten minutes in a rather bizarre way. The hosts certainly had the shove on in the scrum and were heading for The Blues’ try line when the referee walked under the posts and awarded the penalty try. This decision was made even though this was the first infringement by The Blues at the scrum.
The Blues then responded immediately, winger and leading try scorer Matt King reading the kick off perfectly to take the ball and sprint home to touch down in the corner, 7-5.
The hosts capped off a crazy few minutes with another score of their own. They regained possession from the kick off and set up a well worked move to put winger, Charlie Broughton over the line, 14-5.
Macclesfield try scorer, Matt King was sent to the sin bin on 17 minutes for not retreating 10 metres after a penalty and tackling the ball carrier.
Park made The Blues pay immediately for losing a man to the bin. They kicked to the corner and from the resulting line out barged their way over the line. Fly-half Scott Spedding kept up his impressive kicking display to maximise the gap between the two sides, 21-5.
Macc defended the rest of the sin bin period very well but on 32 minutes Rosslyn Park were in again, this time full back Nev Edwards spotting space on the blindside and having an easy run in under the posts to wrap up their bonus point and make it 28-5 at the break.
The hosts came out after the break and got off to a flyer, scoring within three minutes with a very well worked try to score out wide in the corner. The score was converted to make the gap between the two sides 30 points.
Macc fought back hard for the remainder of the second half and defended brilliantly, frustrating the hosts whose error count was on the rise due to stern Blues defence.
The Blues got a late consolation score on 72 minutes when lock forward Dave Marwick read the game well to intercept a loose pass, Marwick knowing he didn’t have the pace rto run it in found King who cut a line and received the offload to run in his 15th try of the season. Final score at ‘the rock’ 35-12.