DCSIMG

Gate urged to close gap with win over Burnage

3rd Novenber 2012.
Harrogate v Birkenhead,  Rugby Union.
Pictured Harrogate's Peter Wackett on the break
Picture by Gerard Binks.

3rd Novenber 2012. Harrogate v Birkenhead, Rugby Union. Pictured Harrogate's Peter Wackett on the break Picture by Gerard Binks.

Harrogate hope to keep the pressure on National Three North leaders Chester when they host Burnage on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

Gate suffered their third successive loss in a 20-17 result at Sandal on Saturday.

Team manager Graham Siswick is urging his side to get the win they need to keep the pressure on Chester, who now sit 11 points ahead of second-placed Gate.

He said: “Chester have opened up a gap now, and it will be difficult to close.

“We need to firm up second place and be in a good position for when Chester come here later in the season.

“We have 13 games left, and we need to be looking to win every one.”

Ninth-placed Burnage beat Waterloo 29-13 away from home, a result Siswick knows will give them confidence ahead of this weekend’s tie.

He said: “That was one of their results of the season, and it will have taken some doing.

“We have a very difficult game in prospect, but it is a great opportunity to get points off a mifd-table side at home.

“We should be able to pick from strength, Rob Almond and will be back in the side.

“Oli Denton suffered an ankle injury, but should be fit.”

On Saturday, Gate attacked from the start, their forwards and backs linking up well, although Sandal went ahead with a Greg Wood peanlty.

Sam Bottomley and Peter Wackett made incisive breaks and the ball worked back to stand-off Callum Irvine.

He shimmied through to score under the posts and add the conversion.

Denton set Bottomley up for the next try scored in the corner, but determined Sandal fought back to make it 10-12 at half-time. Sandal mounted another attack on the right and the ball was recycled left for winger, Simon Frewin to score. Wood’s conversion made it 10-12 at the break.

Gate started the second half brightly, but Sandal’s Jake Ellar intercepted a loose pass to score and convert to move 17-12 ahead.

Tom Harvey, Jake Brady, Jimmy Browne, Max Lewis, Steve Maycock and Tim Heaton all punched holes into the home defence.

Recent line-out problems had been completely ironed out and the scrum went well apart from when an ill judged temporary substitution put the pack under pressure.

With the scores level, Gate cranked up the pressure.Harrogate won a great turnover and Irvine counter attacked. His dazzling midfield break was followed by a long kick ahead for Wackett to gather at speed and score in the corner.

Shortly afterwards, a cross kick to the right seemed to have created another Harrogate try but substitute winger, Luke Edwards was unable to gather the ball cleanly.

However, Sandal broke and a Wood drop goal put them ahead.

Gate pressure in the final stages could not alter the score.

Waves of Harrogate attacks followed for the remaining few minutes but desperate home defence kept the win intact.

 

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