Depleted Gate crash to ‘frustrating’ Caldy defeat

Oli Denton
Oli Denton

Injuries continue to cause problems to Harrogate RUFC’s season.

‘Gate suffered their fifth broken bone of the season when Steve Maycock was forced off in the first minute of Saturday’s 24-17 defeat at Caldy.

Maycock will be out of action for at least a month after breaking his arm.

Replacement hooker Aarin Yorke was also taken off later in the game due to a head injury, but he should be available to face top five side Preston Grasshoppers this Saturday at Claro Road.

Saturday’s defeat was the first loss this season that has “frustrated” director of rugby Mike Aspinall. And he called for a response this weekend.

“We wanted to go the Preston game on the back of four wins out of five, but we are not,” said Aspinall.

“We are going in off the back of a disappointing performance. The guys will be itching to get back on the pitch to right the wrongs.”

‘Gate made a disastrous start at Caldy, falling 12-0 down inside the first 10 minutes.

Half backs, Danny Matthews and Joe Rowntree orchestrating attacks as the visitors clawed into the contest.

‘Gate’s first score came when Kyle Dench set up a counter attack allowing Dan Metcalfe to burrow over. Rowntree converted the try before slotting over a penalty.

Harrogate continued to take the game to Caldy in the second-half.

The Harrogate pack then won turnover ball and Oli Denton’s pace took him through for an excellent try, converted again by Rowntree.

Concerted Harrogate attacks followed but were contained by Caldy’s defence.

And two Caldy tries in as many minutes effectively decided the contest.

Aspinall said: “A minority of the players weren’t in the right place at the start of the game.

“If you’re not in the right place to put everything into a physical game, that’s where problems come from.

“When we got our act together in the middle part of the game we showed our usual attacking rugby.

“I was convinced that we would kick on but we finished the game poorly.”

The narrow defeat put ‘Gate down to 11th in National League Two North.

One positive to the Claro Roader’s injury woes has been the return to match sharpness of club captain Jimmy Browne.

The prop is expected to make his first start of the season against Preston.

“It’s been about getting him to the point where he can do more than a half,” Aspinall said.

“If he can only do a half, I would rather it was the second half. He is probably ready for 60 minutes. He is a massive boost for us.”

On the injury problems Aspinall added: “If you’re getting a lot of muscle tears you have to look at what you are doing in the training.

“But getting bone breaks, other than getting the boys to drink more milk there’s not a lot you can do.”