Before I go ahead and give you my thoughts and review of the last five weeks, I think a couple of thank-yous are in order that have made the whole transition to Head Coach move seamless.
I’d firstly like to thank Luke ‘The Team Manager’ and Matt ‘The Analyst” for taking on more work behind the scenes that has allowed me to concentrate on the job at hand, but the biggest praise must go to the rugby players for their reaction, commitment and attitude to the changes.
Five weeks ago, Stourbridge away, I could have thought of easier games to go to with nine losses to our name, sitting 3rd from bottom, our coaching staff from 3 to1 and our confidence so low it was hard to see a turn around. Even though we didn’t get the right result, for me we got much more than a result, it was the belief, commitment and buy-in form 20 lads who looked so deflated at times, to see the change in just a short time was fantastic.
A positive performance at Stour took us into Chester at home who were on a run of fine form who had just beat at the time league leaders Hinckley. It was our first home game after all the changes and you could fell the tension and atmosphere around the changing rooms. It felt different. It didn’t feel like the pressure we had felt in previous weeks, it was excitement and confidence that I hadn’t witnessed since the first couple of games, as the rugby calendar of 2017 had come to a conclusion, we had finished it in my eyes on a positive note but the break had come at the wrong time as we were just getting some continuity and momentum.
Over the Christmas period it was a good chance for me to reflect on the up coming fixtures. Normally Christmas time is spent with friends and family, but I made us train over this period, because the first game back was a massively winnable game for us. Even though we hadn’t won on the road for 18 months, I was keen for us to pick up 2018 where we left off and, sure enough, our hard work over Christmas paid dividends.
After the Blaydon game, we were then up against another inform side in Huddersfield, who previously had been on a 6 game winning streak, beating some big names like Tyndale. We knew that we would have to be close to our best if we were to get the right result. As luck had it, it wasn’t the same in-form side that had turned up, neither was it the same Macclesfield I’d seen over the last few weeks. With us leading 5-3 at half time, things could have seemed a lot worse if Huddersfield had converted the 6 opportunities they had first half. If there is one thing I had seen growing over the last few weeks, it was our team spirit, which I put down to us winning both the Huddersfield and Blaydon games. 5 weeks ago we would have lost both!!
Our last opponents were, for me, the toughest and most physical in the league, so this was a good test of our mental and physical resilience. We went with the right mind-set and mentality, which ultimately led to us dominating a game in which the score board doesn’t flatter the game.
This weeks opponents hold a different challenge, whilst Sedge are on a run of good form, they are the leagues top try scores so will look to play as well as maintaining a solid set piece, this will be our biggest test to date. I’m sure that league position and current form will not come into this weeks game, given it’s a local derby, and the emotion of the occasion is total different.
Thanks for you continued support!!!!!