Gate must take chance to bounce back - Aspinall

hsb  Harrogate v Bromsgrove. Number 15.   (131012M3c)
hsb Harrogate v Bromsgrove. Number 15. (131012M3c)

Harrogate RUFC hope to bounce back from a 42-28 defeat at table-topping Macclesfield when they tackle lowly Dudley Kingswinford away on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Director of Rugby at Claro Road Mike Aspinall reckons the fixture is a chance for his depleted troops to break into the hotly-contested mid section of SSE National League Two North.

Dudley sit second from bottom without a win, but Aspinall knows his side can afford to take no chances at Heathbrook.

He told the Harrogate Advertiser series: “Without a doubt, this is a game we have to look at taking points from.

“It is a long trip, and we will just have to see how the walking wounded improve before Saturday.

“By the time it comes around we will be as fresh as we can be, but we have a lot of injuries.”

Macclesfield took control of the match in the first 20 minutes on Saturday.

Missing several key players, Harrogate were punished as their hosts raced into a 15-0 lead after 15 minutes.

However, Gate pressed from the restart, pushing Macclesfield into errors.

The pack set up a 25-metre driving maul and a Danny Matthews half break created space for Oli Denton to score, converted by Joe Rowntree.

Rowntree scored a penalty before converting a Jordan Davies try.

He struck a further penalty to ensure ‘Gate led 15-20 at half time.

However, Macclesfield started the second half well, Ed Stobart scoring a converted try.

Rowntree kicked a penalty goal as Harrogate continued to attack.

However, a further try for Macclesfield was followed by an injury to Callum Irvine.

He had to leave the pitch, leaving Gate with 14 men and a task they could not overcome, the final score 42-28.

Aspinall said: “Macclesfield started strongly and got what they wanted out of the first 20 minutes.

“The we started to get what we wanted from the ruck.

“We looked good at half-time, but the threat Macclesfield offered was very obvious.

“Over the 80 minutes we had to withstand the battering of big men, that was the threat.”

Aspinall praised the efforts of his squad.

He said: “In general the boys played very well.
“Macclesfield are top of the league, we have played seven games and played the top five in the league in that time.

“We have quite an extensive injury list and we are putting in performances where we are scaring the best sides, but we have got to get to the point where we are beating them, too.”

Club captain Jacob Brady came off after 30 minutes having pulled his groin, while Robert Adair (ear) is a doubt for the weekend.

However, centre Kyle Dench could return to action.