If you could use on word to sum up Macclesfield Blues’ latest performance against Preston Grasshoppers, what would it be? Dominant, aggressive, measured? Well, in the opinion of Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, the word would be controlled. That’s what Giles feels was missing from Macclesfield Blues’ previous two games.
When they took on Preston at Priory Park last weekend, however, he believes the Blues started to find the sort of control and calmness he’s been trying to instil into his players. The performance was controlled and measured, and the Blues remained calm and focused even when they went down to 14 men in the second half. Giles will be looking for a similar type of performance when the Blues travel down to the Midlands to face Broadstreet this weekend. Here’s what Giles had to say when he spoke to Macclesfield Rugby this week.
Were you happy with the team’s attacking and defensive performances last weekend?
“Yes I’m pleased with how we performed. It was nice to get a win, and it was great to not concede a try. Our watchword for the day was ‘control’ and I think we delivered that. We probably didn’t have as much control against Caldy as I would’ve liked, and we certainly lacked control and calmness when we played Stourbridge, so we focused heavily on that on both defence and attack ahead of the Preston game. I think we carried out our game plan reasonably well.”
“Defensively we were comfortable for the most part. We’ve got good strength in depth defensively and we’re versatile too. We needed to call on those reserves when Marshall Gadd got carded. We were able to bring off one of our second rows, bring on another front row and slot a backrower in there. Despite these enforced changes we were able to maintain our domination in the scrum, and that’s very pleasing. However, had Preston been a little more clinical in the second half then the score line might have been a little closer. They certainly had one opportunity that they squandered. Having said that, by that point we’d probably taken our foot off the gas a little and the game was probably done and dusted.”
“From an attacking point of view we played pretty well. We scored 31 points which is great, but again we probably had at least two further clear scoring opportunities which we failed to capitalise on. I’m hoping that the work we’ve done this week will help us to put those errors right. It was an improved performance overall, and I’ve got to be happy with that.”
What do you know about Broadstreet?
“Not a lot really. I know a lot more about the ground than I do about the team. It’s a great facility with a fantastic pitch which is used by a lot of the age group sides. My understanding from people who know about the Club is that they’ve had a fairly tough time with injuries to key players for the opening games of the season. I believe they may still be out for some time yet. Their results haven’t been great so far this season, but given the missing players, that’s not really all that surprising. But you can’t read too much into these sorts of things then you’re asking for trouble. If you go expecting an easy game then you’ll more than likely come unstuck. No team can afford to be complacent against anyone in this league, so we won’t be making that mistake.”
“We’ll go down there and play to our strengths. We’ll probably be helped by the fact that Broadstreet’s pitch is big and very good, so that should suit our style of running rugby. It’s all about control and balance. If we can control the tempo of the game on our ball and Broadstreet’s ball and execute our processes, then we should be able to come away with something to show for our efforts. Last week we were able to get the balance right. We were able to finesse our game plan, and shift from brute strength to skill and guile to unpick Preston. We’re getting better at refining our game each week, and I hope we can take it up another gear this coming weekend.”