Disappointment as Blues’ run ends
RUGBY UNION ALEX HANNAH
MACCLESFIELD head coach Giles Heagerty was left frustrated after his side’s 11-game winning streak came to an end against local rivals Sale FC.
The defeat came the weekend after his side secured the league and cup double as the Blues went down 26-12, and Heagerty felt his side just weren’t at the races.
“It was awful; but you’ve got to give credit to Sale,” he said.
“They’ve come out and out-enthused us from the start. You don’t want to say it’s understandable, because it is deeply frustrating.”
Heagerty explained he had a hurting dressing room after the game, with the side’s winning run coming to an end, but Heagerty said the mindset of his players was just not right.
“The boys are very disappointed, they know they’ve let themselves down. There’s little as a coach I can say, we’ve won the league and the cup. It has come down to the mentality of the individuals and how they are prepared to prepare themselves, and unfortunately a number of people have not been at the races.
“And when you’re against a side who are fighting for their lives, as Sale are, you’re going to come unstuck.”
The Blues were captained by leading scorer Ryan Parkinson in the absence of Mike Finnemore and Jordan Brookes, Heagerty felt Parkinson performed well, and refused to put the loss down to changes of personel.
“We knew Mike Finnemore would miss out, Jordan Brookes had a bump, but Joe Walker came in and played well.
“Parky (Parkinson) led from the front as he always does, it’s why we chose him to captain the boys. The changes didn’t make a huge difference, it’s the mentality that has let us down.”
The Blues face Stourbridge next weekend in their final league game of the season.
The Midlands side inflicted an opening day defeat on The Blues, but Heagerty warned that his side are a different animal now to the one that turned up at Stourton Park in September.
“We’ll be in on Tuesday and practice hard, and then in again Thursday.
“It’s the last game of the season, at home and against Stourbridge who beat us at their place on the opening day, we’ve come a long way since then.
“Sale was a blip, it doesn’t all of a sudden make us a bad side, but it happened for a combination of reasons and its down to us to make sure those reasons are well and truly parked.”
‘The boys are very disappointed, they know they’ve let themselves down’
●● Ryan Parkinson was one of few players to emerge with credit after the Sale defeat