The snow may have caused the postponement of the Ealing Trailfinders game and disrupted Macclesfield Blues’ preparations, but life goes on. It’s now time to concentrate on the next game, away at high flying Coventry. When the teams met at Priory Park earlier this season, the Blues pushed the visitors all the way. But following the deserved win against Tynedale, Macclesfield Blues will travel down to Coventry refreshed, rejuvenated and with confidence and momentum. What are Macclesfield Blues expecting from Coventry? Well, the person best placed to answer that is Head Coach, Giles Heagerty. Here’s what Giles had to say to Macclesfield Rugby.
Was the Ealing postponement helpful or more of a hindrance?
“I think it’s always difficult when you lose contact time with the group. We effectively lost 2 hours training last Thursday and lost game time on Saturday. Even last night preparations were disrupted as we had to train on the snow as it was softer than the ground. However, at the same time it’s given the players more time to recover. Make no mistakes about it, the Tynedale game was tough. It was a very physical and disjointed game. There were a lot of set pieces, so we had some boys who were pretty beaten up. To have had a week off after that, could, I suppose, be viewed as quite a positive thing.”
“Everybody looked fresh last night in training: we worked hard and kept the session short and sweet. It’s was just good to have everybody back together. The one thing I did notice is that’s there’s a bounce around the group. Andy Northey used to call it ‘the grind’; and we’re firmly in the grind right now. It’s not that the bounce has ever wobbled or faltered, but any opportunity you get to reinforce the bounce has to be welcomed.”
“The postponement was also good from a coaching perspective too. It gave me time to step back and to look at where we are right now objectively. It also gave me time to focus on the areas we need to work on. From the point of view as Head Coach we’re also starting to look at recruitment issues, so the break gave me the ideal opportunity to look into that matter. So though the postponement was pretty frustrating, I think overall I’d have to say it was probably a pretty good thing at the end of the day.”
When will the rearranged Ealing Trailfinders game be played?
“We’ll replay the fixture on 28th February at Priory Park.”
What are you expecting from Coventry this weekend, other than a tough game?
“That’s a very good question. They’re second in the league, and are there by right as they’ve put in some outstanding performances this season. They’ve improved since they played us. I think they did a number on us even though we played exceptionally well for large parts of that game. But their results have been a little bit hit and miss since then. Cinderford went there and pushed them all the way: Richmond went there and had an opportunity to win the game with the last kick. So it’s difficult to predict what we’ll face down there.”
“What we do know is that it will be physical: they’re well-drilled up front, and their set piece will be good. But as always, we’re just focusing on our own game and making sure we get our processes right. We’ve just got to go out and manage their threat, and go out and do our stuff.”
No major injury concerns ahead of the game?
“No everything is fine. For once we’ve got selection dilemmas as everyone is fit to play. I never thought I’d be in that position, but it’s a nice place to be none the less. The only thing we have to contend with is the issue of unavailability because of international commitments. Tom Morton’s gone off to join England Under 20s to play in the 6 Nations. That’s great for him and it’s satisfying for us to know we’ve played a part in this, but it’s still frustrating to lose a player of his calibre and ability.”