CHESTER stripped their game back to basics in order to produce a dominant second-half display against Harrogate - according to director of rugby Nic Corrigan. 

His side suffered four straight defeats in October but they have since won five of their last six league matches.

The most recent victory came at home to Harrogate on Saturday, when they surged back from 13-7 down at half-time to claim a bonus point win, 31-13.

And Corrigan insisted there were no inspirational speeches during the break, but he encouraged his side not to overcomplicate what they were doing – and it worked. 

“There is no kind of great magic to it,” he said. “It is about the players and the reality of it is that we went back to our basics.

“The intensity we showed was excellent and it turned the game on its head in the second half. We focused on what we had to do and I am very happy about that. 

“I think it was very much a game of two halves. From my point of view Harrogate came and played to a gameplan and our second-half performance is testament to the players – they showed some great character and intensity. 

“It is a very intense league and the physicality has gone up and the standard has gone up.

“I think the difference was just the commitment and energy from the players and that is something we need to replicate for the rest of the season.” 

A Gavin Woods try hauled Chester back into the match after half an hour, with the score at 13-0 to that point. And Andrew Oakden, James Mitchell and Peter Rees touched down in the second half, as the visitors failed to trouble the scorers.

Next up is a trip to winless Dudley Kingswinford, but Corrigan believes every team in the league deserves maximum respect.

“We have only lost one of our last six games but we have got to go through the same cycle again and continue to show some progress,” he added. “They are in a position in the league where they have got nothing to lose. We have got to really respect all our opponents and that is very much the case at the weekend.

“It is about management and it is about freshening things up, which I am looking to do. I will look to keep things fresh and rotate players.”

Leaders Macclesfield piled on the points in a 70-10 win at Luctonians while title-chasing Stourbridge hammered Hull 54-0.

Other results: Leicester Lions 55, Bromsgrove 25; Otley 5, 31  Darlington Mowden Park 31; Sheffield Tigers 14, Birmingham & Solihull 18; Preston Grasshoppers  16, Caldy 18; Sedgley Park 111, Dudley Kingswinford 15.

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