Weather permitting, Macclesfield Blues travel to Dudley Kingswinford this weekend looking to record another bonus point victory and keep up pressure on league leaders Darlington. Dudley have had the unenviable task of propping up the rest of the league so far this season, losing every game. A win for the Blues is not guaranteed however, with Dudley not dead and buried yet in the league thanks to their 6 losing bonus points. They will be looking to put a run together to keep them in touch with the sides around them who also face tricky games this weekend.
Macclesfield Back Rower and league top try scorer, Ryan Parkinson praised how “clinical” his side were in difficult conditions against Leicester Lions last weekend. Something they are likely to have to be again on Saturday given the wind conditions of the last few days. The Blues will have to keep their focus to keep up their winning run and the forwards will likely be called upon to be instrumental again with the weather not lending itself to fast flowing rugby.
Macclesfield lie 5 points behind Darlington with a game in hand after the Harrogate game was postponed. A bonus point win would take them level at the top of the league so that puts a level of importance on points’ difference. That fact is not lost on Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett, who said, “Points’ difference is crucial at this time of the season, especially when the top of the league is so tight. I think that having a superior points’ difference is worth at least one point.” Wappett pointed to the fact that rivals Darlington had already played the league’s “whipping boys” twice and that this probably accounted for their superior scoring rate.
The Blues have a chance to emulate this and “claw back” a few points and begin to reduce the gap between themselves and Darlington. Wappett conceded that the weather may play a part and noted that teams’ scoring had faded and bonus points had been dropped in recent conditions. Still he insisted the onus was on his team to perform and build as big a score as possible whatever the weather throws at them this weekend. It looks to be an entertaining game for Blues fans if Wappett gets his wish. He added, “Whatever the conditions, I can guarantee that the boys will be going hunting.”