Luctonians 29, Preston Grasshoppers 3: Lack of killer touch costs Hoppers dear
Despite having over 70% possession and territorial advantage throughout most of game, Grasshoppers lost 29-3 away at Luctonians.
A lack of cutting edge and composure deep inside the hosts half cost the north-west side dear as mistakes near the whitewash led directly to the concession of tries.
Hoppers head coach Paul Arnold said: “We had lots of possession in their half but just couldn’t score.
“At 15-3 down, we had a three on one to make it 15-10 but the chance was spurned by cutting inside instead of going through the hands.
“It’s a totally different game if we score there.
“They were clinical and we weren’t. That was the difference between the two teams.”
A break through the middle from Ally Murray gave the away side first opportunity to score.
However, a penalty awarded to Luctonians, thwarted the attack and stopped the momentum Preston had been creating.
Less than two minutes later, the hosts had scored the opening try.
A dominant scrum created space for Louis Silver to pass to Robinson-hall to score in the corner. To make matters worse for Hoppers, Ryan Carlson was injured during the play and wouldn’t return to the field.
Both sides had a player yellow carded by referee Tom Bird. An incident was spotted in the line out with the cards brandished to a bewildered Ally Murray and Harriott-Davis. The home side scored again with John Morris scoring in the corner after a set piece move created an overlap out wide.
The full back throwing a dummy and fending off one defender before touching down. A penalty a piece left the score 15-3 as both sides trudged off at half time.
Preston started brightly in the second half. 18 phases of forward momentum carried them deep into their opponents half. A three on one overlap was created but the ball was taken into contact and the hosts won a penalty to relieve the pressure.
Instead of the match being a one score game, Preston found themselves 22-3 down. Again, they were the architects of their own downfall. After great initial defence, a defensive scrum was turned over, allowing Rob Crowley to go over the line from five metres.
The bonus-point score highlighted the difference between the two teams. Preston coughed up possession in opposition territory and within minutes Luctonians had scored.
Guy Kirkby scoring under the posts after good work from the forward pack.
The scoreline flattered the hosts, who capitalised on mistakes rather than create opportunities of their own.