Street battle awaits Blues
RUGBY UNION ALEXANDER HANNAH
MACCLESFIELD went without a game last weekend after their trip to Preston Grasshoppers was postponed due to the poor weather.
The Blues remain top of National Two North with a ten-point cushion, but head coach Giles Heagerty admitted his team were a little disappointed not to be able to get out on the pitch on Saturday.
“It was a shame not to be able to get the game on, but the weather was pretty bad so it couldn’t go ahead.
“We’ve done well to go up until now without losing a game to the weather.
“But it means we got a weekend off, which gave us a bit of time to mend a few bodies and ensure we had everybody back on deck for this weekend.”
The Blues make their first appearance of 2016 at Priory Park this Saturday and will be hoping to get off to a flyer against 15th placed Broadstreet.
The last time the two sides met, The Blues came out on top in a very high scoring affair, 37-53.
Heagerty believes his side are much improved since September and is hoping for a much improved performance this time round, to kick start 2016.
“The boys do want to atone for what happened against Caldy but we’re just focussing on Broadstreet now, we’ve moved on and done our review of what happened against Caldy.
“We just want to play, playing at home is a little bit of a bonus because we should’ve been starting the year out with two trips on the road. We just want to get back at it at Priory Park.
“It was a high scoring game last time we played down there, that’s because I don’t think we showed them enough respect, I’d like to think we’re a much better side now mentally more than anything else.
“They are also likely to have improved. They’ve got a talented set of backs. But as ever, we need to concentrate on doing our job and executing our own game plan.”
The added rest weekend means The Blues can take pretty much a clean bill of health into this week’s training, with the only doubt being Franky Barker who is carrying a slight knock.
Dave Marwick was due to return last weekend off the bench, to restart his impressive partnership with Harrison Lewis who had been missing before Christmas with a shoulder injury.
Heagerty was full of praise for the experienced lock, Marwick.
“Maz (Marwick) brings a wealth of experience, and has played some outstanding rugby this year, he’s been on holiday so has missed a little bit of practice which is why he was on the bench at Caldy.
“He is the personification of a ‘ switch flicker’ when its game time.
“He just goes out there and does some very good things.
“Him and Harrison have gone very well together this year so it will be very good to have the two of them back in the engine room.”
With Macclesfield sat top, clear by ten points. Heagerty reflected on how happy he was with the season his team have had so far, and admitted he refuses to put too much emphasis on league position.
“Its not as If I set out at the start of the season and said ‘I want to be top of the league’ we’ve been focussing on ensuring the boys are as prepared and ready for each week as they can be and focussing on our performance on a week by week basis.
“I try not to look at or put too much emphasis on the league table but I’m very happy with where we are at.
“We can’t start concentrating on it though, the moment we start looking over our shoulder we’ll lose site of the job at hand. There is still a lot of hard rugby to be played this year.”
It’s a 3pm kick off this weekend at Priory Park, so come down and support your local side!
●● Dave Marwick is set to restart his partnership with Harrison Lewis this weekend