Clubman: Rugby Nationally and Locally

The whole rugby world, players, supporters, administrators and media are very excited by the start of the Rugby Union World Cup which starts on Friday in Japan. England commences their campaign against Tonga on Sunday morning at 11.15 am.

Other teams in our group are France, Argentina and the USA, so it’s not going to be easy to finish in the top two of the pool and qualify for the quarter-finals.

Clubman realises that within the fraternity of Macclesfield Rugby Club are supporters of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, fortunately, none of the home nations has either New Zealand or South Africa in their groups and both of these are bookies favourites to reach the semi-finals.

The good news is that the matches are free to view on ITV, unlike the cricket world cup.

In our club a good weekend of results three of the four senior sides having good wins. In reverse order the 4th entertained Didsbury Toc H, winning 38-17 in a match where three of the four substitutes were over 50 years old. The 3rd had a day to forget, they were short-handed unfortunately for their trip to Burnage and suffered a heavy defeat.

The 2nds hosted Sedgley Park seconds and we’re delighted with a win, Sedgley our close neighbours are always strong through their teams as our thirds will realise next Saturday when they bring their thirds to Priory Park.

And of course, importantly the first team, in their opening league game of the season had a victory over Morpeth. What a lovely way to entertain the crowd with 5 tries scored by Josh Redfern and Peter Milne in the first half, then Will Davies, Myles Hall and one of the Oliver twins in the second half. Three of these were converted by Davies and skipper Tom Morton knocked over the last score. It’s great to have our first League points including a bonus for five tries.

Actually playing conditions for all games were not easy; the temperature at kick-off was 24° it was important to keep up hydration levels. The supporters on the clubhouse side of the pitch also managed to keep their own intake up thanks to the excellent bar service!

Refurbishment

Club members were disappointed two seasons ago when Cheshire East Planning Committee rejected the application for the sale of a parcel of land to Jones Homes for housing developments. MRUFC is land-rich but cash-poor, having planned our redevelopment for two years nothing had been spent to keep our facilities pristine.

Last year’s Chairman Peter Harper has been a tower of strength, he was chairman for seven very successful years during which his energy, commitment and enthusiasm were infectious, his firm sponsored the several players and the sin bin and he donated the match tankards every week for the man of the match awards.

Harper is now our Club President, he spoke to Clubman recently of his new role where he wants to co-ordinate sponsorship money and organise working parties with James Jennings to improve and redecorate the clubhouse.

The first phase, completed last season was the Spiral Lounge Bar, named because Spiral Printing Company provided the finance, they also print our match day programmes and we’re very grateful for their ongoing financial assistance. This lounge is autonomous with its own bar and large screen TV. It is used by players and for the wining and dining if officials of visiting teams. It’s always open Thursday evenings after squad training and senior members of the walking rugby section allowing everyone to socialise.

The second phase, the installation of a lift is currently under construction.

Thank You

A vote of thanks to Clubman’s predecessor Geoff Allen, he was the author of this column for 20 years, he wrote for me last week whilst I was away on a Cancer Charity cycle ride through France from Cherbourg to Monte Carlo.

500 Club

The names on the honours board for players who have played more than 500 games for Macclesfield bear a very strong alegence to the Stags Side. This was a team put together by Martin Flanagan and played throughout the 1980s and 90s. It was a Veterans side and very successful on and off the field.

The front row, Dave Owens, ex-Royal Navy and competitor of the field gun race at the Royal Tournament; John Webster, who also turned out for Wilmslow when they were in their prime and subsequently became President of MRUFC; and John Robinson capped many times for Cheshire. Fran cotton when playing for Lancashire could never prop comfortably against Robbo about 8″ shorter than Fran who eventually said in total frustration at the close of a county match ‘ Robbo your a real awkward little b****d.

More about this Stags connection in future weeks, however, it’s marvellous seeing Robbo, Webbers, Dave Armstrong, Barry Day, Geoff Alle and Alan Evans supporting the club every home match, they’re all still mates, watching and drinking together almost 30 years after their playing careers.

Macclesfield Rugby Union Football Club (MRUFC) is committed to upholding the core values of Rugby Union, ensuring all players, match officials, spectators and members of the club are able to enjoy the game in accordance with the RFU Core Values.

Please visit out Discipline page to see how you can help our club and the game.


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