Harrogate RUFC must start converting performances into results, insists Dave Doherty
Dave Doherty witnessed more encouraging signs from his Harrogate RUFC players during Saturday’s 46-22 defeat to in-form Stourbridge, but wants to see them start to turn decent performances into results.
The Aces sit second from bottom of National Two North with five losses from their opening six matches, albeit having been handed a seriously tough run of fixtures to start the season.
And while the club's director of rugby acknowledges that his injury-hit team have been up against it almost every match so far this term, he does not want to continue making excuses after defeats.
“Saturday’s game was nip and tuck really, I thought that we played well and this is further evidence that the boys are getting to grips with the standard of National Two North,” Doherty reflected.
“Stourbridge are an excellent side. They’ve got some fantastic athletes in their team, some really good players. We had parity in the set-piece and made a number of line-breaks in the first half, but unfortunately errors have cost us. Their backs were clinical and made us pay.
“But it is easy to keep saying that we’re in a new division, a really tough league and up against some unbelievable players and teams with massive budgets by comparison to our own. What we need to do is get better ourselves.
“I do feel as if we are improving game by game, however if we are scoring four tries in a home fixture like we did on Saturday, then we should be winning that match.
“We have had a really tough run of fixtures to start the season and I know the boys are giving me everything, but now it’s about sharpening up in a few areas and starting to put results on the board.”
Number eight Declan Thompson crashed over to give Harrogate an early lead against Stourbridge, who are the only team in the division still boasting a 100 per cent record this term.
And the visitors responded with three tries of their own in quick succession before hooker Steve Maycock touched down to keep the home side in the contest at 17-10 after half an hour.
Tries either side of the interval saw Stourbridge pull clear, however winger Harry Barnard was next to make it over the whitewash, reducing the deficit to 29-15 in the 58th minute.
The high-flyers would go on to put the game out of Harrogate's reach, though home centre Marcus Mercer had the final word, securing a bonus point with a late score which was converted by scrum-half Kit Keith.