With the weather and ground conditions putting paid to Macclesfield’s encounter with Sheffield at Priory Park it was a quiet Saturday for MRUFC whilst we watched the various Internationals at home with the autumn series of games coming to a close.
Scotland took pride of place in my book with a stunning 53-24 victory over Australia with England overcoming Samoa with an equally high score of 48-14 with Ireland beating Argentina and Wales holding World Champions New Zealand to a 33-18 winning margin it all points to an interesting Six Nations come 2018 with just Wales v. South Africa to be played this Saturday.
Back to Priory Park and it was a combination of winter weather and some questionable over use of the main pitch which caused the game against Sheffield to be postponed on Saturday after an early morning snowfall that had all but gone by kick off time. As I understand it the previous weekend the staff that monitor and look after the various pitches at Priory Park contacted all teams due to play at home to specifically request that the main pitch not be played on over the weekend due to the damage that had been already caused to the ground. This was adhered to by the Lions (2nd XV) who played Chester in an entertaining game on the adjacent ground on Saturday but sadly on Sunday the request was ignored and games were played causing significant damage to the playing surface which, with the adverse mid week & Saturday morning weather left the club with no choice but to postpone the Sheffield game. Perhaps those who chose to ignore this reasonable request could visit the club on Tuesday/Thursday mornings and assist the ground team to put things right and perhaps view things from another point of view – just a thought as we are scarcely halfway through the season yet with more poor weather to come. Enough said!!
With Macclesfield the only club in National 1 or 2 not playing last Saturday games in Two North saw Hinckley return to the top spot with victory over Luctonians by 52-12 whilst Stourbridge who we play in a couple of weeks drew at South Leicester 26-26 in an entertaining game. Tynedale took on and beat our next opponents Otley up in the North East by 69-10 to leave the Yorkshire side in the bottom three with neighbours Sheffield & Wharfedale down there with them.
As we approach the half-way point of the season with games against Otley this weekend and Luctonians & Stourbridge to follow the Blues, now with a game in hand, still sit just a couple of places above the ‘danger’ area and hopefully with the games to come before the end of 2017 we can move still further away from that end of the table and with your support from the sidelines the players can do just that.
The Lions (2nd XV) was the only club side to play on Saturday and they travelled up to Fylde to return successful with a good 29-10 victory but I have no detail on this game to report in this column.
One issue that has been brought to my attention in the last week is the problems that the club currently is experiencing raising full teams for the 3rd & 4th teams and occasionally even the Second XV. Certainly this causes problems with the 4th XV as they, of course, have to make up any shortages above and with all club sides operating on a ‘League’ basis it does mean that if sides concede games they risk being removed from their respective leagues. This must not happen as not many years ago we regularly turned out, in my playing days, seven regular Saturday sides albeit two of them being comprised in the main of ‘Veteran’ players. Thus can I ask anyone reading this column who would like to play rugby or even return to rugby to make contact with the club – 01625 827899 – and give their contact details when they will be passed on to the respective Captains. Rest assured you will enjoy the company on Saturday afternoons.
One thing that baffles me is the seeming lack of communication between the National Leagues who sort out 1st XV fixtures and the Halbro North West Leagues that look after the fixtures for the Second XV and other teams and I make this observation as for the next few weeks there will be a singular lack of Senior Rugby – 1st & 2nd XV’s – at Priory Park on some weekends. This weekend the 1st XV are at Otley whilst the Seconds travel to Waterloo and with the Thirds having no game the 4th XV go to Crewe & Nantwich which means NO rugby at Priory Park. The following week – 9 December – the 1st entertain Luctonians and the Lions entertain Sale – both games at Priory Park with a pre-match lunch to boot. The following week the 1st XV travel to Stourbridge whilst the Second XV go to Sedgley Park so again NO senior Rugby at Priory Park and the attendant lack of match day income for the club.. It doesn’t make sense to this scribe…………………………….
Anyhow gripe over and I can now look back in anguish over the England Cricket teams likely demise (as I pen these notes) at the Gabba and also in anticipation to Saturday when the England RL team take on Australia in the World Cup Final after beating Tonga 20-18 in a highly entertaining game down under in Auckland. Whilst sadly I don’t hold out much for our chances on Saturday it could just be a great game. Why is it that those bl…y Aussies come up with the goods every time – especially on their own midden !!
That’s all for now and I look forward to this weekend’s games as follows – enjoy your Rugby – I do (both codes!!)
Games for Saturday:-
1st v. Otley – Away – Kick Off
2nd v. Firwood Waterloo – Away
3rd v. Free Week
4th v. Crewe & Nantwich 3 – Away
Directions for those travelling to Otley:
Ground is on Cross Green, Otley LS21 1HE
Club is 400 yards out of town centre on Pool Road (A659) and next door to the Netto Supermarket