Harrogate RUFC kick-off new season with victory on the road at Driffield RUFC

Rory Macnab was a try-scorer in Harrogate RUFC's opening-day win at Driffield. Picture: Gerard Binks
Rory Macnab was a try-scorer in Harrogate RUFC's opening-day win at Driffield. Picture: Gerard Binks

Relegated from National Two North and into North One East at the end of last season, Aces chief Martyn Wood predicted that Saturday’s curtain-raiser would provide his troops with a tough test, and this proved to be the case.

But the Rudding Lane outfit came through at Kelleythorpe, with tries from debutant winger Orisi Katalau and Rory Macnab sufficient to see off opponents who finished in third spot last term.

Driffield started in the ascendency, but ‘Gate weathered the storm and got their noses in front on nine minutes.

Fly-half Tom Steene executed a pin-point cross-field kick and Katalau marked his first competitive appearance for the club by catching the ball and running in unopposed. Macnab then converted to put the visitors seven points to the good.

The home response was however fairly swift. Having been held up over the line in the 15th minute, Driffield won the ensuing scrum and number eight Ben Johnson drove over.

Kalani Grant then added the extra two to level the scores.

Undeterred, ‘Gate were straight back on the offensive and only a forward pass prevented them from re-taking the lead with their second try of the afternoon.

Macnab then landed a penalty goal for 10-7 before prop .Jacob Percival was sin-binned for a technical offence.

Another forward pass denied the Aces a second try for the second time, and just before the break, Grant kicked a penalty to level matters at 10-10.

The opening stages of the second period saw both defences tested but remain resolute before ‘Gate re-took the lead for a third time.

With 52 minutes gone, Steene produced a spiral kick which took play into Driffield’s 22 and several plays later, a penalty was given away that Macnab converted.

The Woldsmen’s re-start went straight into touch on the full. ‘Gate scrummaged well on halfway, and eventually broke down the right, with Macnab going through to register a try which he converted himself to round off the scoring.

This Saturday, Harrogate entertain Heath at Rudding Lane