Preston Grasshoppers vs Hull

Date: 07 October 2023

Preston Grasshoppers 30-30 Hull

Two tries in 90 seconds saw Preston Grasshoppers salvage a 30-all draw against Hull.

The visitors had led through Reece Dean’s trio of penalties combined with tries from Michael Jobling, David Halaifonua and Bureta Faraimo.

But Hoppers mounted a comeback with two penalties by Will Hunt and tries from Tyler Spence, Jack Wilkinson, Rob Willetts and Jack Lightowler.

Hull began proceedings on top, and Dean made the most of their early pressure by kicking three first-half penalties before Hunt responded with three points for the hosts in the 32nd minute.

The Yorkshire outfit scored their first try in the 39th minute, with Michael Jobling touching down from a rolling maul.

Hunt produced an outstanding crossfield kick into the path of Spence, who scored in the right corner to make it 8-16 at halftime.

Hoppers brought the score to within a point after Wilkinson’s efficient handling skills allowed him to find a gap to cross the whitewash.

Hull looked to pull away from their hosts, with former Tongan international Halaifonua using his power to score from close range.

But the visitors went down to 14 men when try scorer Jobling was dismissed by referee Peter Buchanan, which allowed Hunt to reduce the lead with a simple penalty.

Faraimo seemed to have put Hull out of sight with a try on 75 minutes after a superb break by Joe Barratt, leaving Hoppers behind by 12 points going into the final five minutes.

Willets renewed some belief of a comeback for Preston with a try from five metres out.

Hoppers showed fantastic desire and bravery to play from deep in their own 22, with Jacob Browne making up a break to find Lightowler charging down the left wing to score in the corner.

Hunt failed to convert, which would have given Preston the win, but few could be disappointed with the thrilling comeback.

The draw leaves Hoppers in ninth place with a visit to table topping Leeds Tykes on the cards next weekend.

Report by Ben Pitkeathly, pictures by Mike Craig

Hull 7 Oct 2023

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