Harrogate RUFC are struggling due to a lack of belief, says Sam Fox

A lack of belief is holding Harrogate RUFC back, according to player-coach Sam Fox.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 9:23 am
Declan Thompson scored Harrogate RUFC's only try as they were beaten on the road at Huddersfield RUFC. Picture: Gerard Binks

The Aces suffered a ninth defeat in 11 National Two North outings when they went down 23-7 on the road at fellow strugglers Huddersfield on Saturday.

Trailing 8-7 at the interval, the game remained very much in the balance until the final 15 minutes. But, once the home side registered their second try of the match, confidence seemed to drain from the ‘Gate players, who found themselves firmly second best during the closing stages and finished up on the wrong end of a fairly convincing scoreline.

Frustratingly for the Rudding Lane outfit, this is not the first time this season that they have seemingly lost their way having been put under scoreboard pressure.

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“We have to be better as a team when we go behind on the scoreboard,” Fox said.

“We have to believe that we can get back into games and turn things around after we have a poor spell or concede points.

"In the games where we have been down, we have tended to struggle because we’re bringing through a number of young lads and we’ve got quite an inexperienced side. They simply lack the experience and know-how at this level because they’ve not been here and done it before.

“Often when we’ve dropped behind in matches this season, boys have gone more individual and come away from the team plan.

“But, they will learn with every game they play. Saturday was another loss, but it’s another 80 minutes in the bank for these lads.”

Declan Thompson’s early try, converted by Kit Keith gave Harrogate a deserved 7-0 lead, however that was as good as it got for them on the day.

“Because of the bad weather, it was touch-and-go on the Friday night regarding whether they game would even be played, so credit to Huddersfield for getting it on, but we are really disappointed with the result,” Fox added.

“We started well once again and went in at half-time trailing by just a single point with a significant wind advantage to come during the second 40.

“This was a game that we felt we could have come away from with something to show, however we have been punished for two lapses in concentration.

“There were two moments in the second half where Huddersfield didn’t have anything on at all, but we’ve made mistakes that have gifted them 14 points.

“We’ve said it before, but in this league, you can’t afford to be gifting the opposition scores like that.”

This Saturday, second-from-bottom ‘Gate entertain Sheffield Tigers, who sit three places above them in the table.

The Aces hope to be able to welcome back-row forwards Jonny and Guy Coser back into their injury-hit squad for Saturday’s match, which kicks-off at Rudding Lane at 2pm.