Leaders look to kickstart season
MACCLESFIELD remain ten points clear at the summit of National Two North after a hard fought victory away at 12th placed South Leicester.
Former captain Tom Eaton started at fly half for the first time this season with Lewis Barker being unavailable for selection and the two time National Two winner with The Blues felt it was more a case of job done, than a good performance.
“We just had to get back to winning ways and kick start the run in to the end of the season, we did what was needed and not a lot more,” said Eaton.
“We’re definitely not pleased with how we played. The pitch was heavy, and a few decisions didn’t go our way. South Leicester did well to slow it down and it took the wind out of our sails. It was frustrating to lose two weeks with the bad weather, there’s nothing worse. And after losing to Caldy at the turn of the year we just wanted to get playing and winning again.”
The Blues lost Tom Mantell and Dave Marwick to the sin bin within a minute of each other in the first half, and despite shipping 12 points, Macc Head Coach Giles Heagerty felt his team dealt reasonably well with the two man disadvantage.
“We managed to knock time off the clock when we were down to 13, with the driving maul and with a penalty.
“You’ve just got to knuckle down in those situations, the boys know that. We’ve got some good experience in there, and I felt we did ok with 13.”
Heagerty was pleased his side could get the five points and keep the gap at the top, but insists his side will continue to take things on a week by week basis.
“You always want to get five points, it was nice to be back on the field playing some rugby. After two weeks off, there was always going to be some rust, and that showed at times.
“Hopefully the worst of the weather has passed through. There is a long way to go, 13 games left and we’ve got to make sure that we tick them off one at a time.”
Ryan Parkinson scored a second half brace to secure the win for The Blues, with his first coming just moments after coming on.
“Heagerty had praise for the back rower’s impact but admitted his scores were also down to the hard work of his pack in the maul.
“The boys worked hard to get in that position and Ryan was there to finish it off. You know Ryan is going to bring you some explosiveness onto the field. he performed well when he came on.”
“The maul is something we’re always working on. Its been a big weapon for us this year, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that we’re one dimensional and we rely solely on that area of play. We can score from anywhere and we showed that with our score today off the kick off. We know if we can get the maul going forward then we’re going to be able to play off it.”
The Blues return to action at Priory Park for the first time in over a month this Saturday when they host Tynedale, Eaton said he was raring to get back to playing at home, and on a flat pitch.
“It’ll be good to be back at Priory Park we always get great support there, but personally I’m desperate to play on a flat track that you’re not up to your knees in mud.
“We’ve got an exciting set of backs. Lads like Charlie Venables will raise some eyebrows on a dry pitch, he’s looking really sharp. I’ve never seen anything like the amount of rain we’ve had so hopefully it’ll be a different story when the pitches dry out.”
Saturday’s game kick off at 3pm.
●● Tom Eaton started at fly half for the first time this season at South Leicester