The 1st XV Travel to Leicester Lions

Date: 30 March 2017

Preston Grasshoppers travel to Leicester Lions this coming Saturday for their penultimate away fixture this season and will be playing a ‘Lions’ side looking for revenge after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of lowly Hoppers just a few weeks ago.

The home side are still mathematically in with a chance of one of the top two places, but similar to Hoppers survival situation at the other end of the table this looks to be only a remote possibility.

Whilst Hoppers survival hopes look a forlorn hope, the battle just above them continues with just a handful of points separating three clubs. Only a single one of  these will survive unless another finishes with a higher total of points than third from bottom in the Southern section. This position is currently held by London Irish Wild Geese who have two more points than third from bottom Scunthorpe in our league as things stand at the moment. The Lincolnshire club currently have an additional two victories to their name, a fact which could prove decisive come the final reckoning.

Hoppers next home game will involve one of the three clubs above them, Harrogate who will be fighting for survival whilst Hoppers will want a home victory to help erase the horrible memories of an injury time converted try at Rudding Park denying them what looked like a rare victory after a tremendously hard fought second half recovery.

Back to this weeks opponents. National League Two matches against Leicester Lions began relatively recently when this week’s opponents gained promotion into the RFU’s Level 4 as Champions of Midlands 1 at the end of the 2004/5 season which coincided with Preston Grasshoppers promotion from North 1. Since then both clubs have occupied places at this level.

The share of victories in the resulting encounters lies in favour of the Midlands side thanks to a double  achievement last season giving them the edge by twelve wins to Hoppers eleven.

Hoppers have won just twice at Westleigh Park, the first of these on their first ever visit from their eleven meetings there which gives an indication of the task ahead of them.

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