Not quite Dyer straits just yet

Craig Aikman

Craig Aikman

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Preston Grasshoppers are hoping history repeats itself tomorrow when they head for Leicester Lions.

AN unwanted run of defeats has left Preston Grasshoppers starting the New Year on a low note and director of rugby Gareth Dyer insists they must start playing smarter in order to change it.

The 23-13 SSE National League Two North defeat at home to Chester at the weekend was their fifth in a row – a disappointing run that stretches back to the end of November.

Tomorrow, Preston will make the 120-mile journey to face Leicester Lions, who also began 2014 with defeat, a 31-18 loss away to Caldy. But Dyer is confident that his players can learn from their past failings and get back on track.

“We are in a bit of a disappointing run at the moment, losing five on the bounce,” he said.

“I can’t fault the effort of the lads but we were naive in certain parts of our game and Chester played a very disciplined style.

“Discipline, unforced errors and tactical naivety are hurting us and we have to address those for when we play Leicester Lions this weekend.

“We learned from playing the top teams that we can try and play this style of rugby where we try to keep the ball and involve all 15 men.

“But we need to make sure we play rugby in the tight areas and don’t invite pressure.

“Macclesfield and Sedgley Park play a very structured game and we didn’t counter that particularly well and spent too long playing in our own half.

“We need to be more pragmatic and play for some territory and the boys have been honest in training and hopefully the work we are putting in will make us a smarter team.”

Preston currently sit seventh in the division and can be confident, heading into their next fixtures after beating the Lions 23-16 in the reverse fixture back in September.

And, having not set any particular goals for the second half of the season, Dyer admits the main priority is to get back to winning ways.

“First and foremost it is a long journey and the weather has not been too great so it will be a heavy pitch,” he said. “They have not exactly been flying themselves, with a few defeats.

“Whoever can make the fewest errors and come up with a bit more on the day will win it. From where we are in the league, we are desperate to get a win on the board.

“We need to give a performance that will ensure we are in the game and so that we can grind out a win to build the confidence back up.”

n SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 worth of mobile floodlights for your club to win. To find out how to enter go to www.SSERugby.com