Harrogate must improve for Lymm test - Siswick

hsb  Harrogate v West Hartlepool. Number 7.   (121020M4d)
hsb Harrogate v West Hartlepool. Number 7. (121020M4d)

Harrogate team manager Graham Siswick insists this weekend’s trip to face Lymm will be one of the toughest tests of the season (3pm).

Siswick watched ‘Gate beat West Hartlepool 24-17 at the weekend, but knows they will have to crank up the pressure away to Lymm.

The Beechwood clash will be the first ever meeting of the sides, and Harrogate are looking to extend their stunning winning run to nine league games.

Siswick knows Lymm will be relishing the chance to be the first side to take National Three North points off ‘Gate this season, and wants a performance to match the impressive string of results.

He said: “There is no doubt all the away games are a test, but at the start of the season we said this would be one of the toughest.

“We have never played Lymm before, but I know we will have to improve on our performance against West Hartlepool.

“Lymm got a good win at the weekend beating Kendal 24-15 away from home, so we are in for a real test.

“There is no complacency in the squad, we are not underestimating how tricky it is going to be.”

Lymm centre Tom Smith is just one of the danger men Siswick has identified.

He said: “Their strength is in the back row. They have the captain Ollie Higginson, Simon Mullarkey and Tom Bray, they are very strong in that department.

“However, we need to concentrate on our own game. We will hopefully have a few players back this week.

“Dom Mosseti, who has joined us from Kendal, is fit to play. We are assessing the fitness of others but there is a disappointment that winger James Audsley-Beck will not play.

“He played really well at the weekend, and scored two great tries but unfortunately he came off with a nasty injury.

“He is on crutches and will be out for a while.

Audsley-Beck’s two tries on Saturday were followed up by a try from player coach and man-of-the-match Mike Aspinall, who scored despite Steven Mayock being in the sin-bin.

Joe Rowntree rounded off the scoring with three penalties.

Reflecting on the game, Siswick said: “I think we can say it was a hard-fought win, it was not our best performance of the season by some margin, but we got the win, and maybe in times gone by it is a game we would have lost.

“The boys are in a winning mood, and I can see they are enhjoying their rugby. Grinding out the win has put us in a good frame of mind.

“We took the win and want to go forward. We are not going to give up this run.”

Audsley-Beck is definitely out and Dan Metcalfe is unavailable.

Harrogate will assess the fitness of Oliver Denton, Peter Wackett and Callum Irvine.

Meantime, off the pitch, the club are expecting to submit plans for the proposed new ground at Rudding Lane in the next few weeks.