Preston Grasshoppers vs Leeds Tykes

Date: 17 February 2024

Preston Grasshoppers 14-45 Leeds Tykes

Preston Grasshoppers put up a fight in the rain, but Leeds Tykes showcased their promotion aspirations with six tries at Lightfoot Lane.

Hoppers were hoping to bounce back following defeat to Hull last week, while Tykes were looking to maintain their unbeaten run this season, with 18 wins from 18 games this season.

Leeds started the game by putting the Hoppers defence under pressure immediately, and just 10 minutes in Benjamin Turpin found space out wide to score their first try of the day.

22 minutes in, Tykes displayed their strength at the set piece for the first time when the visitors rolling maul picked up pace before Adam Brown dotted down for Tykes’ second.

Hoppers wasted no time in pulling it back to within seven points when Rory Brand deceived the Tykes defence, taking the blindside out the back of the scrum, and running through for the hosts first try.

Tykes then scored two quick tries, the first from Ewan Evans after he had sliced through the Hoppers defence with some lovely offloads.

This was followed by Ben Dixon who stormed his way under the posts to grab a bonus point for Leeds.

Hoppers added another one of their own on half time, when Jack Lightowler squeezed through two defenders, and Will Hunt added the conversion to close out the first 40.

The rain didn’t slow down in the second half, and while both teams had chances, neither side could make use of them.

It took until 70 minutes in for the next try when Aarin Yorke scored from a rolling maul, before being quickly followed by a try from Seremaia Turagabeci from the back of yet another maul.

Kieran Davies scored all six conversions that afternoon, and he added a drop goal late on to round out the day’s scoring.

Preston Grasshoppers head coach said the differences between the two sides were clear to see.

He said: “We stuck in well, but the difference between the sides is that they’re very well drilled, but the reason they’re well drilled is because they stick to the purpose.

“They stick to whatever their role is. We do some good drills, but not everyone stays to their role when doing that.

“When we do stay drilled, I think we can be as good as anyone.”

Hoppers next match is an away trip to Sheffield Tigers on Saturday 24 February.

Report by Tom Kelly, pictures by Mike Craig

Leeds Tykes 17 Feb 2024

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