Harrogate rugby

Harrogate 23 Preston Grasshoppers 17

14 November 2022

Although this was a bottom of the table clash, the two sides produced enterprising rugby in a game both needed to win – Saturday 12 November 2022

Harrogate started strongly, and the outstanding play occurred in the 3rd minute. With both sides kicking for position, Will Yates collected the ball near his own 22 and ran through the Hoppers defence for a fine individual try that Sam Fox converted.

Gate continued on the front foot. Strong breaks by Yates and Martin Dodds kept the pressure on Hoppers before they went further ahead in the 12th minute. The ball was run left and Will Rawlinson scored to put Gate 12 – 0 up.

The momentum then shifted as Gate appeared to relax, allowing Hoppers to take control. Firstly, Harry Thompson scored from a line-out move, before Will Riley crossed when they ran a goal-line drop-out back at Gate, after Hoppers had been held-up over the line. This was converted by Will Hunt to level the scores.

Hoppers continued and took the lead in the 27th minute. Hunt chipped through in midfield, collected the ball and fed Jacob Browne who sprinted in for their third try.

Gate however levelled on the stroke of half-time. Strong Hoppers defence had kept their line intact, but Steve Maycock charged down a clearance kick from behind their line and Sam Fenn, who was once again outstanding in the line-out, pounced for Gate’s third try.

Gate was in the ascendency again at the beginning of the second half. Yates was firstly held-up over the line and was then bundled into touch 5 metres short, following Rupert Scrase’s break down the right. However, despite further compelling rugby, neither side could add to the tries from the first half. The only scores came from the boot of Tom Steene, who kicked penalties for Gate in the 46th and 64th minutes. Harrogate thus gained a much needed second win of the season in their campaign to remain at this level.

There is no game this coming weekend. Gate’s next outing is on Saturday 26 November 2022 away at Tynedale, kick off at 2pm.


Harrogate: Rawlinson, Magee Scrase, Fox, Yates, Steene, Olley, Elsayed, Maycock, Baxter, Fenn, Brady (capt), Dodds, Hill, Spencer-Jones. Replacements: Parker-Clarke, Percival, G Jones, Brathwaite, Pearson.

Preston Grasshoppers: Rourke, Clapham, Browne, Swarbrick, Spence, Hunt, Squirrell, Mabaya, Thompson, Trippier (capt), Murray, Naylor, Riley, Dorrington, Richardson. Replacements: Orry, Madden, J Jones, Pearson, Brown

Referee: Michael Harris (RFU)

Tim Thorley
Harrogate RUFC
13 November 2022

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