Harrogate RUFC beaten by Huddersfield RUFC in bottom-of-the-table clash

Harrogate RUFC’s miserable National Two North campaign continued as they gave up a half-time advantage on their way to a 21-13 defeat to fellow strugglers Huddersfield.

By Rhys Howell
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 11:32 am
Ben Raubitschek impressed during Harrogate RUFC's home defeat to Huddersfield. Picture: Gerard Binks
Ben Raubitschek impressed during Harrogate RUFC's home defeat to Huddersfield. Picture: Gerard Binks

Saturday’s showdown at Rudding Lane saw the rock-bottom Aces go head-to-head with the side directly above them in the table.

And, following a decent first-half display, Dave Doherty’s men looked to be finally on course for a first victory in 11 attempts.

But, the visitors delivered a much-improved performance after the interval, preventing ‘Gate from adding a single point to their tally as they turned the game on its head.

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Early Harrogate pressure led to Huddersfield going offside and young scrum-half Kit Keith kicked the home side into a 3-0 lead.

With the Aces pack very much on top and delivering good ball to their backs, a Huddersfield kick through was gathered at pace by Ben Raubitschek and his searing break was carried on up the left wing for an apparent try, only for the final pass of the move to be adjudged to be forward by referee Ben Rayner.

Centre Jordan Cummins made several telling breaks followed by well-timed passes, but these attacks eventually broke down.

And, as half-time approached, Huddersfield scrum pressure led to a try for flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne, the resulting conversion putting the visitors 7-3 up.

Undeterred, ‘Gate came straight back and as Raubitschek gathered a clearance kick inside his 22 and launched a counter-attack.

His chip through put him clear of the visiting defence and he held his nerve to gather the bouncing ball and scorched over for a fine individual effort.

On the stroke of half-time, Keith’s penalty gave Harrogate a 13-7 interval lead.

But, Sam Nunn’s try early in the second period brought Huddersfield right back into the contest before a trio of Milner penalties took the game away from Doherty’s side.

This Saturday, ‘Gate travel to 10th-placed Sheffield Tigers aiming to avoid what would be a 12th consecutive defeat.