Harrogate seek new year revival

tis  Harrogate v Otley.  (111105M2a)
tis Harrogate v Otley. (111105M2a)

Mike Aspinall’s troops started the campaign on fire beating Leicester Lions on their own patch on the opening day of the season.

However, since then they have been inconsistent, and such topsy-turvy form has dropped them down to just above the National Two North dangerzone.

Saturday’s heavy 10-40 defeat to Westoe certainly hasn’t helped matters, and there is a lot to improve upon when Harrogate return to action on January 7 away at Sheffield Tigers.

“The inconsistency has been a major problem,” said Siswick.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up in January, starting with Sheffield Tigers, we need to look at going on a bit of run and build up some kind of form.”

A relegation battle looks inevitable if ‘Gate don’t start their new year campaign on a strong note.

Highlights on the pitch for the first part of the season were few and far between according to Siswick.

However their Leicester win and victory over Otley did fill him with a warm glow.

“It was the first derby between the two sides for 10 years so to get a win was important,” he added.

“I think that and the Leicester was the high point.

“But there’s a lot of rugby left in the season.

“It’s been a difficult start, we had a lot of changes in the squad at the start of the season.

“We also haven’t won back-to-back games so far this season and that’s something we’ll be looking to do.

“It’s a tough league but I’m confident we won’t go down.

“We’re in a poor position at the moment but after Christmas I’m sure the players will be able to raise themselves and pull us out of our current position.”

Celebrating their 140th birthday, Harrogate made a strong start against Westoe on Saturday, down 7-5 at half-time after Ryan Peacey crossed the whitewash.

But Westoe turned the screw after the restart, and although Sam Bottomley grabbed a second touchdown for the Claro Road men, they were soundly beaten.

Turn to page 41 for a full match report.

National Two North pld pts

Loughborough Students 17 69

Huddersfield 17 61

Westoe 17 58

Luctonians 17 55

Caldy 17 54

Preston Grasshoppers 17 48

Stockport 17 45

Bromsgrove 17 43

Hull RUFC 17 41

Sheffield Tigers 17 37

Nuneaton 17 34

Leicester Lions 17 28

Harrogate 17 28

Otley 17 27

Kendal 17 24

Hull Ionians 17 21