Rossendale Preview

By David Wilkinson

 

Rossendale have generally been a bit of a bogey team for the Macc lads – we have not always been at our best in the past. Today we will have to be at our best as we face Lancashire’s try machine. The Marl Pits players have averaged 58 points per game scoring 16 tries last week against a struggling Penrith team; that said, Macclesfield have averaged 39 points per game, which is far from shabby! One would expect Head Coach, and ex Sale Sharks and Scotland, Byron McGuigan to start the game this week. A player going directly from the Premiership to level 5 is a huge jump, and his experience and skill sets are likely to keep the boys fully concentrated. His Forwards’ Coach and number 8 Matt Lamprey will not be taking part, as he serves another week off after letting his post-match frustrations get the better of him; so I’m told – the Priory Park Faithful breathe a small sigh of relief!

Head Coach Darren Lamon was in a buoyant mood after train: “This will be our first proper test of the season, and we’re all relishing the challenge. They (Rossendale) have a number of overseas players, but that won’t bother us, we will be up for it”. Darren was well aware of the influence that Byron McGuigan brings to Rossendale as a player coach; McGuigan is a gritty South African who won 10 caps playing for Scotland and over 100 appearances for Sale Sharks.  Macclesfield will be without Rhys Davies and Tom Burden as well as Harry Blackwell who suffered an injury against Sandbach; but on the plus side we welcome back Sam Adu, after an early season start with Sale FC. Sam came to Macclesfield last season, on loan from Sale FC, and he developed consistently through the season. His stint back at Sale will have pushed him on again, and he’s very glad to be back at Macc. Also back after pulling a hamstring in the first game of the season is John O’Donnell; both start on the wings. After a season out Josh DeGroot is back in the squad, a couple of early season injuries have delayed his comeback, but he is looking lean and mean, starting on the bench; also joining the matchday squad is Chris McGarry; more about front-row forward Chris to follow.

Darren sees Saturday’s contest as a line in the sand after the first 7 games of the season: “If we win it will project the squad for the remaining games up to the Christmas break, if the result doesn’t go our way we will use it to build on. It’s a positive mindset that the players buy-into. Kick-off is 3.00pm, it promises to be one of the biggest games of the season at Priory Park, shout as loud as you like. The team is: 1. Dan Percival, 2. Ollie Longmore, 3. Samir Tahraoui, 4. Elliot Alston, 5. Harry Harding, 6. Brendan Berry, 7. Phil Laing, 8. James Oliver Captain, 9. Dan Martin, 10. Charlie Attis, 11. Sam Adu, 12. Terence Babarinsa, 13. Harry Oliver, 14. John O’Donnell, 15. Tom Jennings, 16. Chris McGarry, 17. Josh DeGroot, 18. Sam Broster.

#maccrugby

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