Huddersfield vs Preston Grasshoppers

Date: 11 November 2023

Huddersfield 17-41 Preston Grasshoppers

Preston Grasshoppers moved away from the bottom two with a 41-17 bonus point win away to strugglers Huddersfield at Lockwood Park.

A Will Riley double, along with tries from Scott Richardson, Ed Keohane, Will Hunt, Ben Dorrington and Jack Wilkinson, saw Hoppers emphatically dispatch the hosts.

Preston were second from bottom and winless in three matches before proceedings, with the late heartbreak at home to Sheffield Tigers still fresh in the memory.

Keohane got the visitors off to the perfect start with a score from five metres out within the first ten minutes.

Field’s fly-half Joe Potter missed a chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty, but his effort struck the post.

Hoppers doubled their try count for the afternoon in the 14th minute after Captain Richardson touched down from a textbook rolling maul.

A leaky defence has been symptomatic of Preston’s performance this season, but they proved their resilience withstanding numerous phases of Huddersfield’s attack.

Two new recruits linked up for Hoppers’ third try when former London Irish scrum-half Rory Brand showed his quality with a deft chip for Riley to run onto and score unchallenged.

Hunt rounded up the bonus point when he backed himself instead of passing to cross the whitewash in the left corner on 35 minutes.

The hosts had a late flourish before the break, which resulted in Dorrington being sin-binned by referee Jack Moorehouse for technical foul play and Ethan Myers taking advantage by powering his way over to make it 22-5 at the interval.

Huddersfield made a fast start to the second half, with Henry Moore scoring from a maul after Jacob Browne was sin-binned, but Potter saw yellow three minutes later to deflate any chance of a comeback.

Dorrington made amends for his yellow card when he reached Jacob Browne’s kick-through before it crossed the dead ball line to score, and Wilkinson soon had a second try from yet another maul to put the game beyond doubt.

Tyler Spence saw yellow with five minutes to go for a high tackle for the visitors, which allowed Moore to score a consolation try.

Riley had the last say after a quick tap by Hunt saw the Sale Sharks prospect break two tackles to touch down to cap off an improved display.

Hoppers Director of Rugby Alex Keay was pleased with his side’s delivery of the game plan.

He said: “We just got better in terms of sticking to what we said we were going to do.

“Some good scores there, I thought there were some really good defence sets in the first half as well.”

The win sees Preston move up to ninth and face the long trip up to Billingham next weekend.

Report by Ben Pitkeathly, picture by Ray Morris

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