If any team believes that Macclesfield Blues will accept relegation to National League 2 without putting up a fight, then they obviously weren’t watching Saturday’s performance at Billesley Common. The Blues were the better team throughout the game and were superior territorially. With a little more luck, and fewer questionable refereeing decisions, Macclesfield Blues could have come away from Moseley with all 5 points rather than just the 2.
It was scant reward for a very good performance, but in the opinion of Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, it bodes well for the rest of the season. The players will be able to push harder in games, in the knowledge that they have time to recuperate during the Easter break. That means any team that wants to take points from Macclesfield Blues, particularly at Priory Park, will have to earn them. Macclesfield Blues’ fate may already be decided, but they’ll carry on the fight until the last kick of the season. Here are Giles’ thoughts on the Moseley game:
The consensus on the Moseley Fans’ Forum seems to suggest that although they eventually won the game, many home fans came away from the game feeling like they’d lost: how does that make you feel?
“Well, that’s nice to hear. I wasn’t actually at the game in fairness as I was away with England Counties for the final prep weekend before we face the 2 tests against Ireland; however, I have watched the game back and spoken at length to the coaches. I think we certainly played some of our best rugby of the season. The intensity was good throughout the game, and we dominated the set piece. I think we were very unlucky to be 21 points down at one stage, but some of that I feel was down to some very questionable officiating.”
“I think it’s fair to say that Moseley were lucky to win the game in the end. In games like this results often are decided by the odd bounce of a ball here or a couple of dodgy decisions there. Moseley did just enough to keep themselves just ahead, but as I said before they were lucky to come away with the win.”
“Last time we played Moseley at Priory Park we were also unlucky with a questionable last minute decision that went against us at the scrum; though in fairness I think we also probably ran out of steam a little too. They’re a very big physical side who played a direct style of rugby against us, and that ultimately took its toll.”
Does that performance say to other National 1 teams that Macclesfield Blues are not prepared to go down a division without a fight?
“Yes, absolutely. We were never going to go down easily or quietly. We’ll fight for every last remaining point in every remaining game. As I’ve said to you many times before, we ‘ve built a team here that is full to the brim with character, determination and grit. Saturday’s performance showed that clearly.”
Will the players be approaching the Plymouth Albion game with the same sort of positive attitude?
“We’ll take the same sort of attitude into every remaining game in this season. The fixture list is helpful at this time of year, because we get weekend breaks between groups of games. That means the players know they can play with high intensity during the games because they know they will have time to recover and recuperate during non-playing weekends. We can now afford to push harder than we probably could at the early stages of the season.”
Does Saturday’s performance show that the Blues don’t need to fear any team in this league?
“I’ve always maintained that on our day we are capable of beating any team in this league, though in fairness, you’ll need luck on your side and all the stars will have to align to beat a team like Hartpury. The best thing about the Moseley performance was that the mentality of the players was good and everybody contributed in some way and that’s important for us. It doesn’t matter who you face; if the mentality is right and everybody contributes you’ll always have a good chance.”
Image credit to Dan Bellenger Photography: http://www.danbellengerphotography.co.uk/moseley-28-24-macclesfield