‘Gate to tackle high-flyers

Harrogate RUFC captain Jake Brady will look to lead his team to victory against high-flying Stourbridge on Saturday.Picture: Richard Bown
Harrogate RUFC captain Jake Brady will look to lead his team to victory against high-flying Stourbridge on Saturday.Picture: Richard Bown

Harrogate RUFC will be looking to make it three wins on the bounce when they host high-flying Stourbridge on Saturday.

The men from Rudding Lane have beaten National Two North relegation rivals Luctonians and Sheffield Tigers in their last two outings and director of rugby Dave Doherty is relishing the challenge of tackling the division’s third-placed team.

“There is little pressure on us given our respective positions in the league, and we have everything to gain,” he said.

“Stourbridge are a side with great strength and some extremely talented players, but when we played them away we did extremely well and only lost out 14-7 to two breakaway tries.

“We’ve picked up two fanstastic wins against two of the teams around us in the table in recent weeks, and this is a good opportunity for us to see exactly how far we have come.

“The boys are excited for the game and I’m really looking forward to it too.”

Doherty cited his side’s growing maturity as being key to them claiming another important victory in their battle to beat the drop when they saw off Sheffield last time out.

“It was a cup final for both teams and a match that neither of us could really afford to lose,” he added.

“Sheffield is a tough place to go as it’s such a tight pitch. They play to their strengths and make it difficult for visiting sides.

“They came out and were really up for the game and it took us a while to get to grips with things. Earlier in the season, all this would have spooked us and I don’t think we’d have coped very well.

“This was the sort of game we would have lost a few months ago, but the players have learned a lot from the last 15 or so games.

“They’ve really developed and that extra maturity enabled us to get a result.

“I always felt that we had an extra gear. We ended up finishing the game strongly and I think deservedly came out on top.”