Pappa Johns Community Cup – Preview

Manchester Preview

By David Wilkinson

The previous round of the Cup, in Macclesfield’s group saw Manchester go down to Derby 31 – 38. It would seem like a fairly evenly matched contest, which is not surprising, given that they both finished in 8th position in their respective leagues. Macclesfield travelled to Sandal, and even though they went down to 14 players after 20 minutes, and finished the game with 13. When Macclesfield put it together they looked, by far, the better team finishing 15 – 32. The result put Macclesfield on the top of the group, now with home advantage against Manchester.

Whilst any team can be beaten at any time, in this game, Macclesfield demonstrated it beating both Blackburn and Lymm; form is the best discriminator to predict an outcome. Form provides confidence for the players, generating momentum. Macclesfield’s momentum has now resulted in 8 wins out of the last 8 matches, amassing 337 points in the process, that’s 42 points per match. The team knows that they have a defensive structure that can pin teams back, with an attack that has several strings to its bow.

The previous encounter with Manchester was only a month ago, which Macclesfield won 37 – 17. That day Manchester made too many mistakes, most self-inflicted, I doubt that they will be so generous on Saturday. Macclesfield welcome the return of James Oliver at 7, with Sam Broster starting at 6. Tom Jennings and Sam Adu come back into the starting 15 to provide pace out wide, with Terence Babarinsa returning as a replacement.

This is your last chance to support Macclesfield at home this season; the day kicks off with the 2nd XV taking on Kendal in the Quarter Final of their Cup Competition. Macclesfield will kick-off at 3.00. It will be a brilliant day at Priory Park, please come and support the boys, a national cup is well within their grasp. The team is: 1 Dan Percival, 2 Brendan Berry VC, 3 James Cross, 4 Rhys Davies, 5 Harry Harding, 6 Sam Broster, 7 James Oliver, 8 Tom Burden, 9 Dan Martin, 10 Charlie Attis, 11 Sam ADu, 12 Harry Blackwell, 13 Harry Oliver Captain, 14 Tom Jennings, 15 Will Davies, 16 Marcus Pyle, 17 Sam Jones, 18. Terence Babarinsa, Reserves: 19 Marcus Dempsey 20 Sam Brown.

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