Macclesfield Blues have played some great rugby this season, but too often have come away from games with nothing. Last Saturday, however, the Blues were finally able to get that monkey off their backs and claim their just reward, much to the delight of the Priory Park crowd. The Blues now have the Easter weekend off before regrouping for the final 2 games against Hartpury College and Esher. When they next take to the field, Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, knows the players will be aiming to finish their season on a high. But when your next opponent is looking to go through the season unbeaten, is there really any realistic chance that Macclesfield Blues could pull off the shock of the season against Hartpury? Here are Giles’ thoughts:
How would you sum up your feelings after that fantastic win against Blackheath?
“It felt great. The boys played really well and got their just desserts. We’ve put in equally good performances over the course of the season and come away with nothing, but for once we got what we deserved. The boys deserve an enormous amount of credit for what they achieved on Saturday, and I am very proud of them.”
Is it frustrating that you are getting results now when your fate is already decided, or is just one of those things that happens?
“Yes, it is frustrating, but yes, it is also just one of those things. I think we’ve been a little unlucky at times in certain games this season, but we’ve also not been good enough in others. On Saturday everything went for us. We started well and got in the game early and were able to kick on from there. In other games that didn’t always happen. Is it frustrating? Well, yes, it is a little. I think if you reflect on the course of the season I think there were probably 4 games that got away from us; that is games we should’ve won but didn’t. That’s where the real frustration lies. In the other games we probably deserved to lose.”
Have you got any specific goals or priorities for what remains of the National League 1 season?
“Everybody knows the Hartpury game is going to be unbelievably tough, particularly with them aiming to go unbeaten all season. They may yet go totally unbeaten with every side they put out this season, from the Bucks team, the women’s Bucks team to their national 1 side. So, yes, it is going to be tough, but never the less we’ve set ourselves some targets. Then we’ve got the final game against Esher at Priory Park. That’s a nice way to end the season in front of your home fans. The target for that game is pretty obvious given the circumstances, but we have to deal with Hartpury first before we start thinking about Esher.”
Is it difficult to retain focus on National 1 rugby when you already know that you’ll be plying your trade in National 2 next season, or is it still possible to be able to focus on both at once?
“I still can retain my focus, after all, as Director of Rugby that’s what I’m paid to do. Having said that, the reality of the situation is that you are constantly planning. So I guess you are juggling two things at once. As for the players, well I think they should be commended for maintaining their focus even though they know the team’s fate is already sealed. There are going to be a number of players who are moving on at the end of the season, whether through retirement or by joining other clubs but they are still completely focused. There are others who simply want to finish the season on a high. Whatever happens to the players at the end of the day, they all want to push on and finish the season in style.”
Have you started making plans for next season yet, or are things on hold until the National 1 season ends?
“We are in the process of making plans, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to make an announcement in the next week or so. The short answer to the question, is ask me that again next Monday and I might be in a better position to answer.”