Aspinall frustrated by Gate’s derby day sin-bin woes

hsb  Harrogate v Otley. Number 16.    (130914M6d)
hsb Harrogate v Otley. Number 16. (130914M6d)

Director of rugby Mike Aspinall rued ill-discipline after his Harrogate side slumped to derby defeat to fierce rivals Otley on Saturday.

Three ‘Gate players were binned in the first half of Saturday’s 27-24 home defeat at Claro Road (full report 91).

It was ’Gate’s second straight loss on their return to National Two North.

To make matters worse, they visit unbeaten Luctonians on Saturday.

Aspinall cut a frustrated figure at full time but said his side would learn crucial lessons from the defeat.

“We made a lot of errors and gave away a lot of penalties,” he said.

“It just spiralled on the guys. They were trying too hard to fix problems and therefore giving away possession and penalties.

“It’s a challenge to make the guys reflect on that. But we are very eager as a group to right.

Aspinall believes some experienced players lost their heads in the contest as they became overawed by the derby occasion.

“It wasn’t what I was expecting,” he added.

’Gate have been dealt a mini injury crisis ahead of the Luctonians trip, with Barry Frost (hand), Kyle Dench (foot) and Tom Harvey (knee) adding to long term casualties Jimmy Browne and Steve Parsons.

Aspinall said youngsters Harry Parrish and Luke Edwards would come into his squad. Fly-half Callum Irvine will start after ‘starting to hold his hand up’.

“Our strength in depth is better this year and that will be tested,” said Aspinall.

“The opportunity to give these boys more experience is exciting.

“We know everyone is disappointed but there is strong belief that we are more than capable of winning these games.”