The game at Macclesfield has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. Also the 2nd XV game at home to Caldy is also off.
Hoppers head to Macclesfield this weekend following a frustrating defeat at home to Wharfedale last time out.
Paul Arnold’s men will be looking to replicate the result from the reverse fixture earlier in the season when the Preston side ran out 19-11 victors at Lightfoot Green. They travel to a Macclesfield side who are looking for a first win since 15th December when they overcame Stourbridge 27-22. Since then they have suffered 5 consecutive defeats although bonus points were picked up in home fixtures with Sedgley Park and Fylde.
Hoppers will be well ahead of the challenge ahead of the trip to Priory Park as all of Macclesfield’s four victories have taken place on home soil. Otley, Leicester Lions, Hinckley and Stourbridge are the sides that have fallen to defeat on their visits to Cheshire so complacency certainly can’t be part of the Preston mindset come Saturday.
A failure to win on their travels and only the aforementioned four home victories leaves Macclesfield rooted firmly in the relegation zone, 18 points adrift from safety, as we enter the last third of the season. Hoppers will know that sitting 13 points above the cut off line can’t be taken too comfortably and this was clear in Head Coach Arnold’s comments to the Lancashire Evening Post last week where he said that a 60 point target was very much the focus to guarantee National League 2 North rugby next year.
Prior to this seasons fixture, the two teams last met in National 2 North action during 2015/16 and before that 2013/14 when on both occasions our visitors were on their way to promotion,
Macclesfield being victorious in all four games. In fact the Cheshire side have run out victors in the last eight meetings between the two sides. Prior to the victory earlier this season, the last Hoppers success coming at the fixture in Cheshire back during January 2008 when Adam Crisp scored both of Hoppers of tries in a twenty six points to twelve victory. Hoppers did the double that season, winning sixteen points to twelve in a closer game at Lightfoot Green when Craig and Wayne Steel locked the scrum.
Competitive games between the two clubs go back to 1993 when the first meeting took place at Lightfoot Green on the 6th of November, Hoppers taking the spoils eighteen points to ten.
There have been twenty two meetings between the two clubs at 1st XV level, with our visitors having the edge by just one victory with one game drawn thirty six all. Victories in league fixtures has the advantage in Macclesfield’s favour by nine to seven. The points total of thirty six from the drawn game at Priory Park on the 24th of September 2005 still stands as a Preston Grasshoppers record in tied league games.
Hoppers name an unchanged side for the trip to Macclesfield.
1. Oga MABAYA
2. PJ MILLEA (C)
3. Peter ALTHAM
4. Adam HOWARD
5. Ryan CARLSON
6. Ally MURRAY
7. Teddy LEATHERBARROW
8. Matt LAMPREY
9. James GOUGH
10. Thomas DAVIDSON
11. Scott JORDAN
12. James FITZPATRICK
13. Alex HURST
14. Tyler SPENCE
15. Nathan POPE
16. O. TRIPPIER
17. N. MILLER
18. L. PROCTER
19. C. TRUEMAN
20. S. STOTT