Rugby Union: Harrogate return to promotion battle against Rossendale

hsb   Gate v Percy Park.  (12124M5b)
hsb Gate v Percy Park. (12124M5b)

Harrogate Rugby Club hope to resume their promotion push from National Three North when they host Rossendale on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

’Gate have not played since January 12, as weather has claimed a fixture away to Penrith, and twice called off the home match against Bradford and Bingley.

Siswick hopes the players can shrug off the freeze and pick up where they left off.

He said: “The lay-off has been longer than we would have hoped, and we have lost a bit of momentum.

“The pressure is definitely on us, we have ten matches left and really we have to look at winning almost all of them.

“There is no margin for error, but we will respond to that pressure.”

Ahead of the visit of eighth-placed Rossendale, Siswick said: “They are very physical.

“They are in mid-table, but beat Percy Park so they are clearly a very capable side.

“Ex-Leeds forward Tom Foley is their head coach, he has taken them up the leagues.”

’Gate won 32-27 at Rossendale in October.

Siswick reflected: “That match was one of the toughest of our season.

“It was a wet pitch, and the result was a close call, I would expect the same on Saturday.”

Saturday’s rearranged match against Bradford and Bingley was called off after an early pitch inspection.

Siswick said: “We had been fighting wet weather all week, but the frost on Friday night caught us out.

“An area in front of the grandstand was particularly frozen, and the referee had to call it off.

“It was a massive disappointment, the players train all week and expect to play at the weekend.”

The club is hopeful this weekend’s match will go ahead.

’Gate will be able to pick from strength, but Peter Wackett remains out as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

The home Bradford and Bingley match has been rearranged to March 16.

’Gate will travel for the rearranged match at Penrith on February 23.