Gate raring to go ahead of Lions test

Harrogate RUFC will be hoping to celebrate victory over Leicester Lions on Saturday. Picture: Richard Bown
Harrogate RUFC will be hoping to celebrate victory over Leicester Lions on Saturday. Picture: Richard Bown

Harrogate RUFC’s director of rugby Dave Doherty says his players are champing at the bit ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Leicester Lions.

Gate currently sit bottom of National Two North after six losses from their opening six league fixtures, and face another difficult test this weekend when they host the high-flying Leicester outfit.

The Lions currently sit third in the table having won five of their first six matches.

“It’s another big challenge against another of the division’s strongest sides,” Doherty continued.

“As a team, we’re really looking forward to it.

“We’ve got a great group of guys here and I believe we can get a result. We go into every match with the aim of winning. I can’t wait for Saturday.”

Gate tackled Stourbridge last time out, and came close to earning a result against another of National Two North’s most formidable teams.

Doherty’s men dominated the first 40 minutes of the clash but only had a 7-0 lead to show for their efforts at the interval.

Despite the improvement in their level of performance, a failure to put more points on the board while on top proved costly in the end, according to Doherty.

“We played some really good stuff in the first half and were well on top against a very good side,” he said.

“We should have had a bigger lead though, given how we performed.

“We were camped on the Stourbridge line for a long period and had them under real pressure.

“They had a man sent to the sin-bin but how the referee hasn’t awarded us a penalty try is beyond me.

“There’s another seven points we should have had to our name, and we also missed a penalty. If we go in at half-time 17-0 in front rather than 7-0 up then it’s a different game.”

Although Stourbridge improved in the second period and eventually went on to win the match, Doherty was still pleased with his side’s performance.

“It was an improvement and certainly the best rugby we’ve played so far. We could have won the game,” he added.

“Nobody will have been expecting us to go to Stourbridge and play so well or get a result,b ut we believed we could beat them.

“While I’m disappointed not to get a result, there are clear signs that we are developing as a team.

“We now need to start turning performances into points, but if we can replicate the way that we played at Stourbridge in games to come then I’ve no doubt that we will come good.”