Harrogate RUFC did plenty right during Scunthorpe RUFC success, says Martyn Wood

Martyn Wood felt that Harrogate RUFC did plenty right during Saturday’s comprehensive home victory over Scunthorpe.
Harrogate RUFC ran out comfortable winners over Scunthorpe RUFC on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Daniel KerrHarrogate RUFC ran out comfortable winners over Scunthorpe RUFC on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Daniel Kerr
Harrogate RUFC ran out comfortable winners over Scunthorpe RUFC on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Daniel Kerr

The Aces bagged a bonus point as they ran out 34-0 winners over their struggling visitors, narrowing the gap between themselves and North One East leaders York in the process.

First-half tries from Tom Steene and skipper Sam Brady set ‘Gate on their way, with Richie Kaisia, Will Hill, Steve Maycock and Ewan Evans crossing the whitewash after the break, in addition to Rory Macnab kicking a couple of conversions.

And Wood was left a happy man at the full-time whistle.

Harrogate RUFC hooker Steve Maycock crosses the whitewash. Picture: Daniel KerrHarrogate RUFC hooker Steve Maycock crosses the whitewash. Picture: Daniel Kerr
Harrogate RUFC hooker Steve Maycock crosses the whitewash. Picture: Daniel Kerr
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"I thought that Saturday's performance was very good," Harrogate’s director of rugby said.

"Scunthorpe are a useful team and I think that anyone can beat anyone in this league, but in the last 20 minutes we were able to take the game away from them.

"The pitch was very heavy and perhaps that suited us. I think that our fitness enabled us to pull clear in the last quarter as they started to tire.

"We've been working quite hard in training on team pattern and how to break opponents down, and that work seemed to work quite well on Saturday.

The Aces secure line-out ball during Saturday's North One East clash at Rudding Lane. Picture: Daniel KerrThe Aces secure line-out ball during Saturday's North One East clash at Rudding Lane. Picture: Daniel Kerr
The Aces secure line-out ball during Saturday's North One East clash at Rudding Lane. Picture: Daniel Kerr
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"I also felt like we managed the referee quite well and got on the right side of him, which helped make life easier for us."

Saturday’s bonus-point success saw third-placed Harrogate move to within six points of York, having played two games less than the league leaders.

"Getting the five points was the biggest positive, but Christian Dobson also played his first game for the club and that was really pleasing too,” Wood continued.

"We have brought him in from Ilkley and we used him at full-back where he looked really good.

Ewan Evans on his way to registering Harrogate's sixth and final try of the afternoon. Picture: Daniel KerrEwan Evans on his way to registering Harrogate's sixth and final try of the afternoon. Picture: Daniel Kerr
Ewan Evans on his way to registering Harrogate's sixth and final try of the afternoon. Picture: Daniel Kerr
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"He showed some nice touches and he is a player who we are looking forward to working with more and seeing what he can do for us.”

‘Gate broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. Kodie Brook broke through and was caught just short of the try-line, leading to a Scunthorpe man receiving a yellow card.

From the resulting penalty, fly-half Steene scored in the left-hand corner. However, with underfoot conditions not being conducive to place kicking, the conversion was missed.

With a numerical advantage, the Aces took the game to their visitors and were rewarded in the 37th minute when forward pressure saw captain Brady cross for their second try.

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The conversion attempt was again off target, and with no further scores, the half-time score remained at 10-0.

Harrogate continued to attack at the beginning of the second period. Will Pritchard’s break ended with Scunthorpe receiving a second yellow card before Kaisia went over for his first try in Harrogate colours.

Macnab’s successful conversion extended the lead to 17-0.

In the 50th minute, ‘Gate scored their bonus-point try, number eight Hill diving over following a quickly-taken free-kick.

And the hosts scored again just five minutes later, through a touchdown by Maycock.

Wood’s men then broke through for a sixth and final time in the 69th minute when Evans went over, with Macnab adding the extras.

Next up for ‘Gate is an away trip to Pontefract this Saturday.

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