Huddersfield 25, Preston Grasshoppers 15: Hoppers plunge further into relegation mire

Preston Grasshoppers fight against relegation suffered a huge blow after losing at fellow league strugglers Huddersfield. (Writes Mike Mitchell)

Sunday, 26th January 2020, 11:14 am
Preston Grasshoppers have dropped into relegation trouble

They started brightly and deservedly scored the game’s first try. A driving maul from a solid line out saw Chris Taylor break from the back to touch down. The score being credited to hard work during the week, targeting the hosts problems at that particular breakdown.

The hosts replied in similar fashion as a driving maul was finished off by Liam Stapely touching down in the corner. The conversion attempt was dragged wide.

Hoppers extended the lead to five points with three added from the boot of Tom Davidson.

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The penalty awarded after a high tackle was spotted by referee Daniel Woods.

Huddersfield took the lead for the first time late in the first half. From an attacking scrum, simple hands down the line created space for Kian Stewart to score with Will Milner adding the extras.

Preston made the score 15-12 at the interval as Jacob Browne finished well in the corner.

Ally Murray took the away side deep into opposition territory. Quick hands created the small opening that Browne took advantage of.

The first half was as good as it got for Grasshoppers as Huddersfield took control in the second. Head of rugby operations for Preston, Gareth Dyer put this down to Hoppers straying away from what was working in the first half.

Will Milner punished Preston with two near identical penalty kicks as the away teams started to concede avoidable penalties in their own half.

Hoppers also saw Ally Murray yellow carded for tackling a man in the air. To make matters worse, Sam Wallbank and Chris Taylor went off injured – both with hamstring injuries.

These injuries coincided with Jake Squirrel injuring himself in the warm up, leading to Coach Paul Arnold starting on the bench.

Poor defence by Hoppers allowed Huddersfield to score the try that effectively ended the match as a contest.

Missed tackles were a crucial component of the try scored by Lewis Bradley with the team starting the attack deep inside their own half.

A preventable score that snatched even a losing bonus point from Grasshoppers.

Player coach Paul Arnold was then yellow carded for an off the ball scuffle. The scuffle was one of many that were evident throughout the second half with tempers starting to fray.

Tom Davidson did have a chance to snatch a losing bonus point for Hoppers, with a penalty kick the last play of the game. However, he missed the target leaving the final score 25-15 to Huddersfield.

Victory edges Huddersfield further away from the drop but plunges Preston into deeper trouble with survival looking ever more unlikely.