Victory gives Gate boost ahead of next 12 matches

hsb  Gate v Burnage.  Harrogate's Pete Wackett  (121215M2a)
hsb Gate v Burnage. Harrogate's Pete Wackett (121215M2a)
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Harrogate ended a three-match losing run by beating Burnage 34-9 in National Three North on Saturday.

It was Gate’s final match of 2012, and leaves them second in the league at Christmas, 11 points behind leaders Chester.

Team manager Graham Siswick was delighted to pick up the win, and says the team can take positives from the match into their final 12 fixtures in the New Year.

He said: “I was very pleased with the overall performance, and to sign off with a win at the end of the year, especially after three defeats.

“There are improvements to be made, however, and things we will be working on over Christmas.

“We are training three times this week, and then return to training on January 1.”

On Saturday, Gate started strongly, build-up from the backs allowing Pete Wackett to score a try, converted by Callum Irvine.

Minutes later, another creative move gave them a clear overlap in the Burnage 22, but the centre didn’t choose the scoring pass, and was tackled.

Burnage put Gate under pressure, and forced a penalty out of their hosts, which Burnage scored.

Hooker Aarin Yorke made his return for Gate after being sidelined with injury since April.

Props Jimmy Browne and Dan Metcalfe were in complete control and powerful runs from Max Lewis and Tim Heaton kept Burnage on the back foot.

A Gate ruck offence led to Kyle Dench being sin binned, and Burnage were able to score another penalty, but Irvine kicked three home points when Burnage went offside before the break.

Burnage attacked from the restart and put an attacking kick into the left corner.

Sam Bottomley set up a counter-attack, and Tim Heaton was able to power through for a converted try.

The home pressure continued, and Bottomley seized on an Irvine cross kick to gather the ball and score.

Gate continued to surge forward in the dying stages, Irvine scoring the final try.

Siswick reflected on the match: “With better execution, we could have scored more points, but we took the bonus point and that was the target before the game.

“We gave away too many penalties in the first half to keep them in the game, but the scrimmaging was better than it has been all season.

“Yorke, Bottomley and Irvine both put in really strong performances, and there were plenty of positives to take from the match.”

He continued: “One of the problems we had in the last three games was we weren’t taking our chances, and we weren’t getting away with it.

“We didn’t take all our chances on Saturday, but the performance was pleasing and we got the win.”