Dis­ap­point­ment as Blues’ run ends

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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’

Matt Ratcliffe

●● Ryan Parkin­son was one of few play­ers to emerge with credit af­ter the Sale de­feat

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