Blackburn Preview

By David Wilkinson

 

Although there are still four matches to conclude the season, many see the contest at Blackburn, on Saturday, as being season defining; which is not belittling the challenge of the other three clubs involved; it is purely a statistical analysis. But then as we’ve seen with the recent loss By Rossendale at the hands of Stockport, it counts for nothing, if you mess-it-up!

If one looks at form, it’s probably stacked in Macc’s favour; the team has not lost away for well over a year, and is unbeaten since October, which was against Rossendale, the only team to take points off Macclesfield this season. Blackburn were flying high until losing at Priory Park in November and then Rossendale in December, they bounced back with a big win against Leek, but since then their wins have been far from convincing, with a dramatic cut in points scored. That said, Ramsgreave is a fortress, and not a happy hunting ground for Macclesfield, a win their will be hard fought. Macclesfield now sit on top of the league, 3 points ahead of Rossendale, and 9 points ahead of Blackburn, the Championship is now Macc’s to lose.

The Twos testing Macc’s maul defence

The team are in a confident mood, and why shouldn’t they be, but they equally now that they will need to continue to be at their best to overturn Blackburn. These were some of Head Coach, Darren Lamond’s thoughts after training: “After a week’s rest, the boys had a good skills session on Tuesday on the 3G, and then all out tonight on the main pitch, which for the first time for weeks was firm and dry, enabling the ones and twos to go through their game plays and systems. Our strategy for Saturday is to not really change anything, but to play a disciplined game, that is system performance driven. Unlike the Rossendale game, this is not emotionally driven, but we need to stay focused and stick to our systems. Selection has meant some disappointment for players, particularly with Toby Moule stepping back to the twos; Jamie Harrison is away this week, and Josh DeGroot is out with a niggling injury; John O’Donnell will be back in contention for the last three games on his return from Australia with the Police Rugby League squad”.

This is the game to get behind Macc, help to bring down the fortress of Ramsgreave and give the boys that extra lift from the Macclesfield faithful. Kick-off will be 3.00pm, I will have my vocal “Whaa-Hoo” machine with me, make sure you bring yours too. The team for Saturday is: 1. Dan Percival, 2. Ollie Longmore, 3. Samir Tahraoui, 4. Rhys Davies, 5. Harry Harding, 6. Elliot Alston 7. Tom Burden, 8. James Oliver – Captain, 9. Dan Martin, 10. Tom Morton, 11. Terence Babarinsa, 12. Harry Blackwell, 13. Harry Oliver, 14. Sam Adu, 15. Tom Jennings, 16. James Cross, 17. Phil Laing, 18. Charlie Attis.

#maccrugby

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