Hea­gerty sets home chal­lenge

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

RUGBY UNION SHELDAN KEAY

MAC­CLES­FIELD Blues head coach Giles Hea­gerty has set his side the tar­get of fin­ish­ing the rest of the league sea­son un­beaten at home.

Macc are back in ac­tion this week­end when they make the trip to Moseley, then face two home games in a row against Ply­mouth and Black­heath re­spec­tively.

Hea­gerty thinks avoid­ing de­feat at home for the rest of the cam­paign is a big pri­or­ity, but has also listed other things he would like to see hap­pen be­tween now and then.

“I think it’s im­por­tant that we fin­ish the rest of the sea­son un­beaten at home,” he told the club’s of­fi­cial web­site.

“That’s a ma­jor goal as far as I’m con­cerned and I think it’s im­por­tant we end the sea­son with vic­to­ries against Black­heath, Ply­mouth and Esher at Pri­ory Park and give the home crowd some­thing to cheer about.

“So far this sea­son we’ve al­lowed the ma­jor­ity of vis­it­ing teams to score a try scor­ing bonus point against us: that is some­thing I’d like to put an end to.

“We know we are more than ca­pa­ble of scor­ing tries, but what we need to be bet­ter at is stop­ping the op­po­si­tion from scor­ing.

“It will be a chal­lenge for us over the next few games, par­tic­u­larly given the cal­i­bre of op­po­si­tion we will face.

“I’d also like to see some of our younger and less ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers make more of a mark. I think it’s im­por­tant for them and for the team that they show more lead­er­ship and more re­spon­si­bil­ity. “I’m not say­ing we’re lack­ing in that re­gard as we’ve got a good cap­tain in Ryan, but I think it’s im­por­tant that some of the younger and less ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers find their voices and start to use them.

“The same ap­plies to both play­ers younger in age and play­ers who haven’t been with the Club for long.

“I’d like to see us play­ing with a greater de­gree of free­dom too, al­though in fair­ness that’s as much down to us as coaches as it is to play­ers on the field.

“If I’m be­ing hon­est, the chances of us get­ting to 35 points and stay­ing up might not be im­pos­si­ble, but it’s a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge and that’s why it’s not on my top 4 list.

“How­ever, with the pres­sure be­ing off a lit­tle we can af­ford to go out and be more re­laxed and play with a lit­tle more free­dom.

“The per­fect ex­am­ple of that is last sea­son when we knew we’d al­ready won the league and then went on to play some of our best rugby.

“That hap­pened be­cause there was no longer any pres­sure to win.

“I’m not say­ing that we’re not un­der pres­sure to win be­cause we are, but we have to be more re­laxed and en­joy play­ing rugby more, and as coaches it’s our job to push that mes­sage across to the play­ers.

“We’ll cer­tainly still make de­mands of play­ers; buy maybe it’s time we changed the way we make those de­mands.”

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