Blackburn Preview

By David Wilkinson

 

It hardly needs saying, but this is the big one; for both teams. With Rossendale and Macclesfield close on their heels, the Blackburn players will be determined to keep their noses in front and maintain their unbeaten record. A result for Macclesfield is significant, if they are to stay in the hunt, and keep it a three-horse-race. A bonus point win for Macclesfield and nothing for Blackburn would be ideal, but realistically any kind of win would be a big result, and would most likely put Rossendale in top spot.

Like last season, the table-toppers come to Priory Park unbeaten, but the Macc lads upset the apple-cart back then, squeezing out a 25 to 19 point win. It would cost the Blackburn team the league title; as such they may come back to Macc with a small chip on the shoulder. That said all three clubs want to play their rugby in National 2 next season and will want to get 5-pointers for every game with the contests between the clubs being the deciding factor.

Form certainly lies in the Lancastrians’ camp they average 49 points per game against Macclesfield’s 37 (which is hardly shabby). Blackburn has traditionally had a big physical set of forwards that can squeeze the life out of a team, with some very good finishers in the backline. Macclesfield will be hoping for good weather where they can put pace on the game to tire some of Blackburn’s more ‘experienced’ players – the forecast is looking favourable.

Team-wise Macclesfield didn’t have quite the full squad to select from, with three would-be starters out of the reckoning. But Harry Blackwell returns at 15, and Elliot Alston comes back into the match day squad, with O’Donnell and DeGroot out. Head Coach, Darren Lamon said that they are all excited by the challenge of having an unbeaten team at Priory Park: “It’s been a tough selection week, but we’ve worked on a few things, up our sleeves, to pull out on Saturday”. It should be an exciting contest, and a line in the sand, in terms of where we are. It’s the ex-captain’s lunch on Saturday, so expect a big boisterous stand. Please come and get behind the team tomorrow, it gives the boys a massive lift – my “Whaa-Hoo” machine is wound up and ready to go!

Kick-off is 3.00pm; the team is: 1. Dan Percival, 2. Ollie Longmore, 3. Samir Tahraoui, 4. Rhys Davies, 5. Harry Harding, 6. Brendan Berry, 7. Tom Burden, 8. James Oliver Captain, 9. Dan Martin, 10. Tom Morton, 11. Tom Jennings, 12. Terence Babarinsa, 13. Harry Oliver, 14.Sam Adu, 15. Harry Blackwell, 16. Simeon Meek, 17. Elliot Alston, 18. Charlie Attis, reserve: Sam Brown

 

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