National Two North: Harrogate 28-10 Hull| Wood caps Gate win against former club

Three second-half tries helped Harrogate Rugby Club stretch their winning run to six matches with a 28-10 victory over Hull in National Two North.

Harrogate dominated the first half in blustery conditions at Claro Road but Callum Irvine’s sixth minute try and two Joe Rowntree penalties were the only imprints on the score-sheet.

Harrogate RUFC's Callum Irvine scored the opening try against Hull

Harrogate RUFC's Callum Irvine scored the opening try against Hull

Hull scored an early penalty in the second half before tries from Willem Enslin, Harry Parrish and Kerry Wood against his former club secured maximum points for Gate.

The visitors scored a converted try of their own through flanker Ben Sullivan with the game’s final play, but it was not enough to stop Harrogate marching on in third.

Mike Aspinall’s men now head into next Saturday’s clash at fierce rivals Otley unbeaten since losing to Hull Ionians on November 22.

Irvine opened the scoring early in the first half after collecting his own clever chip over the Hull defence and touching down.

Joe Rowntree missed the conversion in testing conditions for kicking, but he soon made up for it with two penalties from distance to take Harrogate into the break 11-0 to the good.

Gate’s penalty count was high throughout the match, but Hull - who held Gate 20-20 earlier in the season - were often unable to capitalise due to a string of handling errors.

However, the visiting fly-half Greg Lound did reduce the gap to eight points with his first successful kick shortly after the restart.

South African Willem Enslin was a dominant performer in the backline for Gate and he bundled over at the back of a catch and drive to knock the stuffing out of Hull.

Shortly after, Luke Edwards excellently caught a high pass on the run and burst through the Hull defence before unselfishly passing to Harry Parrish to score down the wing.

Harrogate searched for a fifth try that would secure a bonus point and it came from Hull’s former director of rugby Wood. The replacement flanker collected the ball five metres out and popped over a ruck to dive. Irvine sent his conversion attempt high into the swirling wind, and it just went over the crossbar.

With the game into its final play, Hull finally broke through the Harrogate defence to earn a try they had deserved.

Sullivan collected a pass and ran through a gaping hole in the home defence to score between the posts, and Lound added the two points.

But it made little difference to the result, as Harrogate reached the 60-point mark for the season and now have a play-off place in sight.

Read more from the game as well as analysis and comments in Thursday’s Harrogate Advertiser Series.