Street bat­tle awaits Blues

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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!

Do­minic Sal­ter

●● Dave Mar­wick is set to restart his part­ner­ship with Har­ri­son Lewis this week­end

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