Manchester Preview

By David Wilkinson

 

If you’re a Macclesfield Rugby Club follower/supporter, the challenge of Manchester at Priory Park needs little written stimulation, rhetoric, or sporting prose. It’s deep-rooted tribal rugby, two teams that have battled for local bragging-rights, off and on, for the past 40 years. Form counts for a lot less; it’s much more about ambition when the whistle blows, and the ability to perform to the challenge in all quarters for the full 80 minutes.

Tommy Taylor, puts the pack through its paces for the challenge of Manchester

At a glance the form on paper might favour Macclesfield, 2nd versus 4th, 56 points versus 39; but Head Coach, Darren Lamond, and his coaching team, won’t let the bare-facts cloud their judgement of what’s required on Saturday. Darren was excited, after training on Thursday about the contest: “The boys have had a good rest and come back firing, we’ve had good sessions this week, and we respect the challenge from Manchester, their away form is second only to Macclesfield’s, that and their memory of turning us over at Priory Park in the Pappa Johns Cup, will level the playing field for them”.

That said, Macclesfield will be rightly brimming in confidence, they are at the top of their game and able to select a squad that they see fit for the contest on Saturday. There will naturally be disappointed players on Saturday, running out for the seconds, and a few still on the edge of the treatment bench; as such selection is far from being over and done with, the players currently on the fringe will know what they have to do to get into the mix. The pack on Saturday sees little change, and the backs have Charlie Attis at the helm. Get there early, there is likely to be a big crowd, kick off is 3.00pm, the team is: 1. Dan Percival, 2. Ollie Longmore, 3. James Cross, 4. Rhys Davies, 5. Harry Harding, 6. Brendan Berry 7. Tom Burden, 8. James Oliver – Captain, 9. Dan Martin, 10. Charlie Attis, 11. Terence Babarinsa, 12. Harry Blackwell, 13. Harry Oliver, 14. Sam Adu, 15. John O’Donnell, 16. Simeon Meek, 17. Elliot Alston, 18. Phil Laing.

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