Last week, the Blues took on Leicester Lions at home. The lions were coming off the back of 4 straight defeats and were hoping for better luck on their trip to Cheshire. Unfortunately for Macclesfield, that’s precisely what they found.
Despite taking an early lead, in a bad tempered match, Macclesfield were soon down to 14, and with decisions continuing to go against them, ended up on the losing side, going down 12-25. We spoke to Giles on Thursday night, to get his view on the game and to look forward to this weekend’s match against Sedgley Park. Here’s what he had to say:
It was a bad tempered match on Saturday. Now that you’ve had the week to let the dust settle, what’s your perspective on the game?
“It think it’s fair to say it was a fairly physical game. Unfortunately it spilled over with the red card. We’ve looked at why that happened, but there’s nothing more I need to say about that.
“I think, for one or two reasons, we were a bit predictable, and I think that cost us. They came up here with a clear game plan and we didn’t react in the way that we needed to, to manage that situation. It forced some recalibration from the coaching staff and the players, but ultimately, the luck really did seem to be against us.”
How are the coaching staff and players building on the lessons from the game?
“I’m not going to give away all our secrets, but we had a good training session on Tuesday night and an honest approach on how we can build.
“But, look at the way they played against us. They struggled to beat us playing rugby, so they beat us using another method. If we don’t front up, that could be a common theme.
“We have the ability to be more physical and to dominate up front, so we have to make use of our ability and not allow them to dictate the physicality of the game. But at the top of our list, we want to still play rugby! That’s very important to everyone involved at the club.”
Looking back at the game, was there any area of play you were especially pleased with, or any players who stood out?
“We said before the season that defence was an aspect of our game we needed to improve, and we have shown that we have the capability to do that. Our defence is robust and it really has improved. That might seem odd, saying that after a loss, but you have to look at the context in which the opponents points were scored.
“Stand out players, again, were Liam Parfitt, and the ever-green Dave Markwick. Both of whom showed their quality for us.”
Has anything about the return to National 2 come as a surprise?
“Not really. We knew what to expect. There are some fantastic teams, and teams we know well, and overall the standard of rugby in the division has improved. The only thing that has disappointed me so far is the inconsistency in the standard of officiating. And that’s not just a criticism of the man in the middle, but as a team of three, they need to have a consistent approach, and acknowledge things that they have missed. I think this inconsistency could well have influenced the outcome of the game on Saturday.”
This Saturday’s game is against Sedgely Park, any thoughts going in?
“It’s a clash of two teams that have known each other for a long time. They have had some changes and they’ve had a good start to their season. We know they are well coached, so we just need to make sure we do all the things we have been working on in practice. We played them preseason, but in the mix and excitement of the league it’s a different game altogether. We’re going to love the challenge!
“We are also hoping to see lots of supporters down to see us. It’s a lovely ground and we have a long history and association with Sedgley Park. So, if you’re not playing this weekend, get behind the Blues and come and support us.”
Saturday’s game is away at Sedgley Park, kicking off at 2.30pm.