South Leicester Trip for 1st XV

Date: 03 February 2016

Sean Taylor’s twenty one point haul last Saturday helped move him up to fifth in the league points scoring table, just fourteen behind leader Lewis Barker of league leaders Macclesfield. His two tries in the same game took his total to five this season just a couple less than Scott Jordan, the club’s leading try scorer in 2015/16.

All being well, Hoppers trip to South Leicester will give Sean the opportunity to improve his scoring statistics and in so doing celebrate his 150th appearance in Preston Grasshoppers colours.
Incidentally, Sean’s first successful kick last week pushed him past the seven hundred points mark for the club.

Preston Grasshoppers head for pastures new this coming Saturday with a trip to National 2 North new boys South Leicester and once again will be looking to extend their unbeaten run of success where they remain six matches undefeated with just the one reverse in nine since early November.

Founded in 1919, fifty years after Hoppers, ‘South’s’ Welford Road home is in the middle of a veritable hotbed of rugby union with Leicester Lions, Leicester Forest, Oadby Wiggestonian, Vipers and of course Leicester Tigers residing in close proximity.

South Leicester’s home in Westleigh is by no means a fortress against visiting teams, having witnessed six defeats at the hands of ten visiting clubs but Hoppers will have to be cautious and reign in any over confidence.

The game at Lightfoot Green earlier in the season was the first meeting between the two clubs and ended all square at twenty nine all, the first of three drawn games by Hoppers. South Leicester must have thought they had a five pointer in the bag but with just five minutes of the eighty to play and thanks to a couple of Sean Taylor tries plus a conversion, the spoils were shared.

Looking back to last week, it was the forwards who once again laid the foundations for victory before Hoppers backs took their chances. If the squad can stay injury free and once the grounds begin to firm up again, exciting times are ahead. But as last Saturday’s opponents Broadstreet showed, although they were at the wrong end of the league table plenty of problems were caused before the home side felt confident of victory.

After battering away at the door for a number of seasons this weeks opponents South Leicester eventually gained promotion at the end of last term losing just once before finishing as Champions by some considerable margin over Hinckley who lost in the play-off to Sandal.

After a promising start to the season South Leicester have slid close to the relegation zone and since winning the next two games following their draw at Lightfoot Green, they’ve won just a couple more and have yet to taste victory away from home in this league. Although winning just four times this season they’ve managed to clock up six try scoring bonus points, more than any others in the league apart from the top two. These together with three losing bonus points are helping keep their heads above the water level but too close for comfort to the drop zone. Luctonians resurgence after defeat at the hands of Hoppers in early November when they’ve won five from seven, will be something not only South Leicester will be keeping a close eye on!

Photo by kind permission of Mike Craig – Sean Taylor kicks another successful conversion, as JP acting as ‘steadier’ watches its progress.

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