Gate’s dangerous young backs have ‘nothing to lose’

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Harrogate Rugby chief Mike Aspinall saluted his young back-line after they ran Bromsgrove ragged at Claro Road on Saturday.

’Gate thrashed Bromsgrove 32-12 and bagged a bonus point for scoring more than four tries.

hsb  Harrogate v Bromsgrove. Number 13.   (131012M3e)

hsb Harrogate v Bromsgrove. Number 13. (131012M3e)

Sam Bottomley ran home two tries, before Steve Maycock, Harry Parrish and Luke Edwards also crossed over.

The second win in as many matches lifted ’Gate into tenth, but Aspinall’s charges face a tricky trip to second-placed Macclesfield this Saturday.

’Gate played at an electric pace at times against Bromsgrove and the director of rugby hailed the adaptability of his side to mix it in the forwards and backs.

Young guns Parrish, Edwards, Lewis Minikin and Joe Rowntree have excelled in National Two North, and their performances have amazed their coach.

Aspinall said: “On paper every time we run out I think, gosh we are very young

“But by half time I am feeling pretty comfortable with these players to play at his level.

“Luke, Lewis, Harry and Joe have done exceptionally well.

“These young lads have put a lot of hard work in since last year and that’s to their credit.”

Chris Wilson suffered a dead leg early into Saturday’s contest and he is a doubt for the Macclesfield trip.

Nathan Smith replaced him after 10 minutes against Bromsgrove, and the flanker will again fill in.

Bottomley will miss the clash to rest a suspected hernia problem.

Fly-half Callum Irvine is likely to replace Bottomley and partner Luke Edwards at centre.

Irvine has been kept out of the starting line-up after the impressive performances from scrum-half convert Joe Rowntree in the number 10 jersey.

Rowntree caught the eye again on Saturday despite despairingly seeing five kicks at goal go awry.

“Joe is doing a very good job,” said Aspinall.

“Sometimes it takes more of a trained eye to see what he’s doing for the team.

“He always sees space as a scrum half and that’s a real asset.

“You can excuse a one off. I look forward to seeing him come back this week.”

Irvine has been trialling for Scotland Under 20s and Aspinall praised the players utility to play at any position.

“Callum’s running is second to none as a fly-half,” the coach said.

“He’s got all the skill-set that you want from a 13.

“We always try to play both sides of the break down and having to good ball receivers will be a major plus.”

Macclesfield have won six out of six this season, and are level on points with pole-sitters Stourbridge, who beat Harrogate 24-7 on the season’s opening day.

“We go there with nothing to lose and that’s dangerous for Macclesfield,” added Aspinall.

“The players will look at it as a monumental opportunity.

“I don’t think anyone will expect us to go there and beat them,

“We are getting better every week.

“If we perform to our best of our ability we will be able to challenge.”