Mackay focusing on the positives as Old Streets lose to Basildon
A long Ipswich trip in store for Hoxton-based side this weekend
Old Streetonians captain Duncan Mackay was pleased with his side’s performance, but not the result after the team went down 20-7 at home to second-placed Basildon last Saturday.
Having started poorly, the home side found themselves 8-0 down in the early stages, before scoring a well-worked try which reduced the deficit to 8-7 at the break.
However, after the interval, Basildon’s quality began to show as they went on to increase their lead.
“It was not an ideal result for us,” said Mackay.
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“However, what I can say is that it was an encouraging display from us and what was different from previous weeks is that we were competitive for the full 80 minutes.
“Sometimes in rugby, when you go a couple of tries down, heads drop, but this wasn’t the case on Saturday and we kept going until the very end.
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“Having said that though, Basildon were well deserving of their win, although it would have been nice if we could have picked up a losing bonus point, which I think that our performance deserved.
“Our heart and effort was fantastic and I can’t fault the commitment from the lads.
“All Basildon had that we didn’t was a cohesion and understanding among the players, but I am sure that that is something we can work on in training.
“It was a promising 80 minutes from us, that we can build on.”
Having suffered a few heavy losses in recent weeks, Mackay feels that his side are turning a corner, and are close to securing their second win of the season.
“We are getting within touching distance, which we weren’t doing previously,” he said.
“Before, we were getting comprehensively beat, but on Saturday we showed that we can play rugby and challenge a side in the top two.
“There are plenty of positives that we can take from the Basildon game, most notably our defensive effort and intensity, which was great.
“The team are playing a lot better and the players that we had out injured or in New Zealand watching the Rugby World Cup are now back and close to full fitness, which really showed at the weekend in the performance as a whole.”
This weekend, Mackay’s men make the long trip up the A12 to face Ipswich, a side that Old Streets know quite well, having played them twice last season.
“Last season we beat Ipswich at home, but lost to them away,” said the captain.
“However, on our last long away journey we beat Lowestoft so we know that it can be done.
“We know that they are a tough side and that they have brought in some Pacific Islanders.
“However, if we play like we did last week, then we have a real chance of getting something from the game.”
Having already played the top six teams in London Two North East, the next few weeks will be crucial to Old Streets’ season as they play the teams that are around them at the bottom of the league.
“The following two games against Beccles and Woodford are must wins,” said Mackay.
“The lads know that and they are confident that we have what it takes to avoid a relegation battle.
“There is a lot of confidence within the squad and it has taken some time to bleed in new players, but we know that we can realistically have a much better second half to the season.”