Blues de­liver bold mes­sage to ri­vals

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS - NA­TIONAL 2 NORTH

MAC­CLES­FIELD se­cured their tenth win in a row on Satur­day with an im­pres­sive vic­tory over fifth-placed Le­ices­ter Li­ons to re­main six points clear at the top of Na­tional Two North.

Head coach Giles Hea­gerty was par­tic­u­larly pleased with the man­ner of his team’s win, but still feels there is im­prove­ment to be made.

“I’m very pleased, we were fairly ruth­less,” he said. “I said to Chris Jones on Thurs­day that I wanted fifty points and we nearly got there. Chris him­self wanted the ‘nil’. I can com­pro­mise on that. We played very very well.

“They’re fifth in the league and play­ing some good rugby. We said be­fore the game that we wanted to send a mes­sage to the rest of the league and hope­fully we’ve done that.”

The Blues’ strength in depth was there for all to see at Priory Park on Sat- ur­day. The big­gest crowd of the sea­son so far saw the im­pact that sub­si­tu­tions such as cap­tain Mike Fin­nemore and prop Tom Man­tell could make on a game as they both re­turned from in­jury.

“To be able to have a bench of that qual­ity is ev­ery coaches dream. The at­ti­tude of the play­ers is very im­pres­sive, whether they’re start­ing or on the bench, it’s the same. They just want to get stuck in and do their job. The subs made a real im­pact by car­ry­ing on the good work those that went be­fore them. We had to dig deep in de­fence at times and it’s pleas­ing to see we stuck it out.”

The Mac­cles­field set piece was very dom­i­nant on Satur­day, win­ning ev­ery­thing off of their own ball and turn­ing over the op­po­si­tion on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, num­ber 8 Ryan Parkin­son ad­mit­ted hav­ing a pack of their qual­ity is a plea­sure to play with.

“Be­ing part of a dom­i­nant pack makes my life eas­ier, so credit to the tight five, they all put in a mas­sive shift, and that gave the rest of the side the plat­form to play off, if we as a whole in the pack can play like this it really gives our backs some­thing to play off.”

Mac­cles­field have now played 160 min­utes of rugby at Priory Park and not con­ceded a try, and scor­ing nine against their op­po­si­tion, but Parkin­son ad­mits the zero tries is the most pleas­ing thing for him­self and his team mates.

“The nil is more pleas­ing, we’re al­ways go­ing to score points, but to keep a good team to nil is great for us, it really shows the hard work we’re putting in, is pay­ing off.

“That was a really good win, we knew it was go­ing to be a really phys­i­cal game but we put into prac­tice ev­ery­thing we had been work­ing on, and that meant we played really well.”

Three unan­swered tries in each half en­sured Macc ran out com­fort­able win­ners.

The Blues scored with just two min­utes on the clock, ap­pling pres­sure deep in Li­ons ter­ri­tory and lock Har­ri­son Lewis barged over from close range, Lewis Barker added the con­ver­sion.

Just four min­utes later, Mac­cles­field dou­bled their lead, Char­lie Ven­ables found Matt O’Re­gan with a fine off­load to cap off a bril­liant team try.

Jonathan Wil­liams missed an op­por­tu­nity on 20 min­utes to get Le­ices­ter off the mark from the kick­ing tee, and was soon made to re­gret his miss as Mac­cles­field fly half Lewis Barker slot­ted a penalty of his own to ex­tend The Blues lead.

David Mar­wick ex­tended The Blues’ lead shortly be­fore the break, blast­ing over from short range to leave the half time score 24-0.

Macc wrapped up the bonus point on 45 min­utes, Franky Barker fin­ished off a well worked move out wide, and name­sake Lewis missed his first kick of the day.

Ten min­utes later Mar­wick com­pleted his brace, strong set piece saw the big man touch down from the back of a driv­ing maul.

The fi­nal score of the day was se­cured on the hour mark, an­other smash­ing li­ne­out drive re­sulted in Parkin­son touch­ing down from the back of the maul.

Mac­cles­field fly half Lewis Barker slot­ted a penalty of his own to ex­tend The Blues lead.

Mar­wick ex­tended The Blues’ lead shortly be­fore the break, blast­ing over from short range to leave the half time score 24-0.

Macc wrapped up the bonus point on 45 min­utes, Franky Barker fin­ished off a well worked move out wide, and name­sake Lewis missed his first kick of the day.

Ten min­utes later Mar­wick com­pleted his brace, a strong set piece saw the big man touch down from the back of a driv­ing maul. And the fi­nal score of the day was se­cured on the hour mark, an­other smash­ing li­ne­out drive re­sulted in Parkin­son touch­ing down from the back of the maul.

The Blues travel away this week­end to face 14th placed Hud­der­s­field as they look to keep up their good form.

MAC­CLES­FIELD

Tries: Lewis (2), O’Re­gan (6), Mar­wick (33,54), F Barker (46), Parkin­son (59) Con: L Barker (3, 7, 34, 55, 61) Pen: L Barker (25) Le­ices­ter Li­ons: No scor­ers Ref­eree – Miss Claire Hod­nett At­ten­dance – 375 HT score 24-0 Star Man – Lewis Barker

●● Mas­cot Jack Roe­buck of the club’s un­der sev­ens with skip­per for the day Jor­dan Brookes

●● Man of the match Lewis Barker with chair­man Peter Harper

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