Preston Grasshoppers vs Sheffield Tigers, 28th September 2019, 2.30pm
Hoppers welcome Sheffield Tigers to Lightfoot Green on Saturday with the Yorkshire side sitting one place and two points above us in the early league table.
The Tigers have picked up wins at home to Chester and on the road at Scunthorpe but were well beaten last weekend when hosting Caldy.
Hoppers meanwhile are fresh from a first victory of the season against Scunthorpe. The lads ran in 8 tries last weekend in a total of 12 so far this season. Amazingly the 12 tries have come from 12 different players with Gregson, Lamprey, Carlson, Murray, Ben Dorrington, Jordan Dorrington, Wallbank, Harrison, Sloane, Spence, Procter and Stott all registering so far. Whether that record can be maintained into another week remains to be seen!
Tigers Player/Head Coach Jamie Broadley is in fine early season form with 2 tries and Hoppers spectators will be well aware of the danger fly-half Mark Ireland (formerly of Kendal and Otley) poses from the kicking tee. Ireland boasts an incredible 1492 points in his National League career and is in his fourth season with the Tigers. Broadley has an equally impressive pedigree having amassed 176 tries (7 against Hoppers!) in a career which has seen him play for Harrogate, Rotherham Titans and Hull. He has scored 20 tries or more in the past three seasons.
We only have a short history of meetings with our visitors and senior Sheffield side from Dore Moor which all began after their promotion to Level 4 rugby in 2011. The Tigers were relegated after three seasons at this level but bounced back in 2016 and have now consolidated and are enjoying their second spell and in total seventh season in National 2 North.
The two clubs have met ten times since the Yorkshire side elevated themselves to this level in the league pyramid with Hoppers winning six and our visitors four. Last season saw Hoppers complete the double over the Tigers with a 38-33 win at Lightfoot Green followed up by a 27-24 win at Dore Moor.
Head Coach Paul Arnold makes three changes this week with Adam Howard back in the second row to replace Luke Procter who drops to the benhc. In the back line Ben Dorrington starts at scrum-half whilst Alex Hurst lines up in the centres alongside Nick Gregson.
1. John BLANCHARD
2. PJ MILLEA (C)
3. Noah MILLER
4. Adam HOWARD
5. Ally MURRAY
6. Ryan CARLSON
7. Toby HARRISON
8. Matt LAMPREY
9. Ben DORRINGTON
10. Joe PRIOR
11. Matt CROW
12. Nick GREGSON
13. Alex HURST
14. Tyler SPENCE
15. Jordan DORRINGTON
REPLACEMENTS: 16. TAYLOR, 17. SLOANE, 18. WALLBANK,
19. PROCTER, 20. STOTT