Harrogate RUFC must 'learn lessons' if they want to come away from Bournville RFC with a result

Dave Doherty has warned his Harrogate RUFC players that they will have to compete far better in the contact area if they want to come away from Bournville with a result on Saturday.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 2:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 11th September 2021, 2:08 pm
Sam Brady in action for Harrogate RUFC during their opening-day defeat to Sedgley Park. Picture: Gerard Binks

The Aces were comprehensively beaten by Sedgley Park in their first game back at National Two North level, losing out 51-21 at Rudding Lane last weekend.

Despite the scoreline, director of rugby Doherty was able to take some positives from his side’s performance but was left frustrated by how many times they surrendered possession and turned over the ball.

“Sedgley Park are a very good side, very powerful in contact, which is an area where we looked rusty,” he said.

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“We didn’t keep possession for long enough and there were a number of times when we lost it in the tackle or the ball was stripped by their players.

“I think a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that we had two pre-season friendlies cancelled. Those fixtures build your toughness. We’ve trained well but not played games and there was some rustiness.

“We need to sharpen up. We have to be much better when we play Bournville. It’s going to be another tough game, but I’m confident that we can get a result if we learn our lessons from Saturday.”

Trailing Sedgley Park 20-0 at the interval, ‘Gate scored three second-half tries through Guy Coser, Brandon Hannam and Jack Haydock.

Doherty, however, felt the Aces could have had more.

“You could see how dangerous we are with ball in hand but, as I’ve said, we didn’t have possession for long enough to put them under sustained pressure,” he added.

“We’ve got to be more ruthless. Sedgley Park were clinical and we have to find that kind of edge. Whoever you’re playing in National Two, when chances to score come along, you have to take them if you want to win matches.

“I’m pleased with the three tries we scored, but we should have had four. We’re disappointed to miss out on a bonus point. Late on, we had the chance to kick to the corner and missed touch. That’s an example of how we need to be more clinical.”