After a convincing win at Sandal last weekend, Macclesfield Blues will return to Priory Park action this weekend when they take on Broadstreet. Broadstreet may currently be lying in 14th position in National League Two North, but their recent form has been good. On their day Broadstreet can be a threat as Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, knows only too well. When the sides last met in September Broadstreet pushed Macclesfield Blues all the way. Only in the last 10 minutes or so did the Blues’ superior class show. So what’s Giles expecting this weekend? Here’s what he had to say.
How pleased are you with the Blues’ form ahead of the Broadstreet game?
“I’m very pleased. I think our performance against Sandal showed the quality in our attack. We’ve worked very hard to generate that over the last 3 weeks. I looked through the video review on Sunday night and saw some really excellent stuff in there. There are still some errors, but when you’re trying to play the type of rugby we’re trying to play, those errors will inevitably happen. We’ve managed to minimise these for sure, but we still need to keep at it.”
“I thought our attack in that game was excellent. When you look at the stats we only had 40 per cent possession, which is remarkable. I guess it only goes to show how ruthless our attack was on the day. The stats are also a testament to how strong our defence also was. We’ve had some defensive frailties that we’ve identified over the last few weeks and we’ve addressed those. It was really pleasing therefore to be able to shut Sandal down in the way we did.”
What have you made of Broadstreet this season?
“When we last played them at their ground the game really was nip and tuck right up to the last 5 or 10 minutes. They may be a side that’s lying towards the bottom of the table, but they’re a team who’ve obviously set their sights of getting out of that position. The results they’ve managed to string together recently suggest they’re doing a pretty good job of it.”
“Because of the performance against us last time, I would think they would come to Priory Park with little or no fear. We know that they selected a deliberately larger team when we were due to play them last time before the game got called off, so I imagine they’ll do something similar this weekend. It will be interesting to see whether they are impacted by international commitments this weekend, but that’s for them to deal with as we have to.”
How’s Prior Park looking after the recent heavy rain?
“Well they managed to hold an England Counties Under 18s divisional trial there on Sunday. On Saturday morning things looked fine, but then the rain came. By Saturday afternoon the pitch was unplayable. But thanks to the hard work of the ground staff, the pitch was in perfect playing condition by Sunday. If the weather cooperates, I expect it will be the same on Saturday and we can look forward to an exciting game.”
Are there any major concerns ahead of this weekend’s game?
“We’re not faring too badly in terms of injuries. Elliot Brierley picked up a bit of a bump very early on against Luctonians, but we’re hoping he’ll be back this week. Harrison Lewis was fit for last Saturday, but we decided to give him another week’s rest. He’ll be available for selection this weekend. Charlie Venables picked up a hamstring injury on Saturday so he’ll be out for a couple of weeks. We’ve also got a couple of lads who are off to the internationals this weekend, so we’ve got to manage that. Still, that gives us the opportunity to look at some other players in a little more depth. Rather than them coming off the bench, they’ll now be making a start.”