With the teams in National One and Two North taking a break on Saturday after a hectic start to the campaign it was left to the Lions and the Third teams to fly the flag for Macclesfield Rugby last Saturday and I took the opportunity, along with many others, to watch the Lions (2nd XV) at Priory Park as they took on table topping Chester Seconds in their Cotton Traders Premier League encounter.
In an entertaining and open game the Lions were undone by the pace of the Chester threequarters and a couple of wayward kicks that ‘gifted’ the opposition two tries as they ended up narrow losers by 22-21 in a game that they could just as easily have won after losing heavily at Chester in the opening game of the season back in September and they will hopefully return from the Lancashire coast this weekend with a ‘W’ when they visit Fylde.
In the only other game played the 3rd XV also took part in a high scoring game eventually coming away with a 24-24 draw also up in Lancashire at Lightfoot Green the home of the famous Preston Grasshoppers.
In relation to the 1st XV starting this weekend they embark on games in successive weeks where they come up against three of the five teams who currently stand below us in National Two North with Sheffield providing the opposition on Saturday (Kick Off 3.pm. at Priory Park) and then a short trip ‘over the hill’ to Otley on 9th and then we entertain Luctonians on 16th before Chester come to Priory Park just before Xmas as we begin the ‘second half’ of the season and it is important that a) the squad show the enterprise that they showed in the second half recently against high flying Tynedale and b) come away from these games with the points to keep us clear of the wrong end of the table and with the confidence that the Tynedale second half display must have given them together with your support from the touchline we can ensure that there is no dog fight come March/April.
Away from Priory Park the Autumn Internationals took pride of place last weekend with England seeing off old rivals Australia in the end comfortably by 30-6 at Twickenham with Samoa to come on Saturday. Wales had a scrap against Georgia in Cardiff winning in the end by 13-6 when perhaps a draw would have been justified but for some jiggery pokery with the ‘front row’ rules……………… Ireland won a high scoring encounter 23-20 against Fiji and Scotland may feel brassed off with a narrow 22-17 defeat at the hands of world leaders – New Zealand – in Edinburgh. After this coming weekend things get back to normal again with the Premiership kicking back in full time although Sale can perhaps consider themselves unlucky to go down on Sunday 35-27 at Welford Road to Leicester.
In that ‘other game’ England took another step – albeit a bit awkwardly to the next stages of the RL World Cup with a scrappy 36-6 victory against Papua New Guinea where in the Semi Final this weekend they will meet Tonga before – if they win – facing either New Zealand or Australia in the final. All this as we look forward to early mornings in Brisbane later this week as the Ashes begin in earnest………………….plenty to keep us interested.
There was an interesting article in the Rugby Paper today going back 40 years to a game I actually attended along with one or two others from the then Tytherington days when we travelled down to Moseley for the Sam Doble Memorial game. Sam who sadly died at the age of just 33 with the dreaded ‘C’ was an outstanding player and goal kicker for the home side and it was a privilege to be there amongst the 14,000 or so who crammed into the ground on that day to honour him and his family. Brought back a few memories…………….
Games for this weekend:
1st v. Sheffield – Home – 3.pm.
2nd v. Fylde – Away
3rd v. Rossendale 2 – Away
4th v. Lymm – Home
That’s it for now – enjoy your Rugby – I do,