In today’s match at Priory Park, it finished 26-15 to the visitors, in what was an enthralling contest, with good spells of rugby played by both sides.
Macclesfield started the better of the two sides as good intensity and pressure, allowed them early control of the possession and territory.
The home side’s early pressure was rewarded, as they took the lead early on, through a penalty in front of the posts dispatched by Tom Morton, after just five minutes. Winger Sam Parry made a fantastic run and in the following ruck, the away side conceded the penalty in front of the posts.
The away side responded well to going behind as they looked destined for the line on numerous occasions in quick succession but because of Macc’s resilient defending, they couldn’t score.
Macc then survived a scare as Huddersfield looked set for a try after breaking Macc’s defensive line, but just as they head to the line, Mort’s intense pressure was enough for Huddersfield to knock the ball on.
Macc were defending brilliantly in their own 22 and didn’t seem phased by Huddersfield dominating possession and territory. The home side were hanging onto their narrow early lead through brutal big hits and resiliency.
Huddersfield’s pressure was finally rewarded though. Macc went down to 14 men as McCarthy was given a yellow card for going in at the side in the ruck and then instantly Huddersfield scored through Piper after their maul was just too powerful for Macc. The conversion was missed, which meant the score became 5-3, after 32 minutes.
Five minutes later and Huddersfield grabbed another one as clever hands by their backline, created too much space and Wilkinson scored the try. The conversion by Milner was scored and the score line became 12 points to 3, after 39 minutes.
Half time: Macclesfield 3-12 Huddersfield RUFC
Huddersfield started the better of the two sides in the second half, camping and threatening Macc’s try line. However, Macc survived due to good defence and kicking from hand.
10 minutes after the half time break and Huddersfield scored another try. Piper scored after Huddersfield’s maul again is too strong, the following conversion is scored, bringing the score to 19-3.
Huddersfield then scored another, this time against the run of play. Good work by their backline meant Wilkinson had enough space to score the try. The following conversion was converted, and the score became 26-3.
Despite the score line Macc responded brilliantly in the last 20 minutes. Their late intensity and good hands by the backline wasn’t quite enough, to overcome the deficit and get a win but did show encouraging signs that are there to build upon.
Macc got back into the game, as substitute James Hampson scored Macc’s first try of the day after 68 minutes. Macc’s relentless attacking pressure, forced an overload on the right side, which we executed brilliantly by the Macclesfield backline’s clever hands, as the ball found its way to Hampson and he made no mistake in the corner. The following conversion was missed, which meant the score line became 26-8, with just ten minutes to go.
Macclesfield were dominating, giving their all, desperately looking for another try.
The game was being played exclusively in Huddersfield’s half, as the visitors couldn’t deal with Macc’s roaring pressure as we tried to overcome the impossible and overturn the hefty deficit. Cheered on by a boisterous home crowd, Macc went searching for more points.
Macclesfield then get their second try of the day, just three minutes after the first. Dan Lomax scored after great hands again by the Macclesfield backline. Morton’s conversion was successful and Macc then trailed by just 11 points but with only 8 minutes remaining.
Huddersfield were hanging on and the pressure they felt was told by the fact they had to go down to 13 men. Both Sharpe and Whitfield were given yellow cards, in the space of just four minutes, during the last ten minutes of the contest.
Macc had a few more chances to score more points but sadly it wasn’t meant to be, and the gutsy comeback couldn’t be completed.
Full time: Macclesfield 15-26 Huddersfield RUFC
Despite the loss, there are positives to be taken into the game against Sedgley Park next weekend, particularly the last 20 minutes. If Macc play to that high level like we all know they can, then we should have no problem in turning our season around and get wins on the board soon.
Gaffer Marshy when asked about his thoughts on today, said: ‘Frustrated. We played good passage of play but then we shoot ourselves in the foot, due to ill-discipline, but the last twenty minutes we showed we can compete with teams. We’ve got to take that last twenty minutes into the next game and build upon that. We’re a young side and we’re on a journey, we just need that confidence like we showed late on, but we’ll take that into next week.’