Since losing at Lightfoot green in September, Macclesfield had also put together a string of very strong performances and Hoppers head coach Paul Arnold was well aware of what faced his team,
“In their own words, we humiliated them and since that result they have been on fire so we knew that this was going to be tough,” he said.
Hoppers started well and within four minutes, a fast passing move involving Jacob Browne, Sam Stott and Jordan Dorrington put Toby Harrison over.
The teams were evenly matched and with the fast pace of the game, Macclesfield soon had their own score from a penalty after spending several minutes pressing the Preston try line.
Coming up to half time, both teams were dealt a blow when Macclesfield’s prop, Burden was shown a yellow card and with their other prop having gone off injured, the game moved to uncontested scrums which denied Hoppers one of their great strengths, their ability to drive the opposition.
However, they were soon able to capitalise on their superior numbers.
From a series of attacks inside the Macclesfield five-metre line, Matt Lamprey broke through to score his first of two tries and Alex Ward duly converted.
With half-time approaching, the home side gained a second penalty score and could have made another when the last kick of the half bounced off the upright.
At the whistle it was 12-6 to the visitors.
The second half saw Grasshoppers begin to dominate.
A break from Lamprey took them to the red zone and a try from Ally Murray, again converted by Ward.
Macclesfield responded with their purple patch, and with the game having reverted to uncontested scrums a second time, they scored their only try to narrow the deficit to 19-13 with a quarter of the match to play.
Another yellow card then made the last 10 minutes difficult for them and the game was sealed with a second try for Lamprey which gave Preston the win and the bonus point on a satisfying afternoon.