Match Preview – Huddersfield v Preston Grasshoppers

Field need to cut out the errors to win against Hoppers.

Huddersfield RUFC entertain Preston Grasshoppers at Lockwood Park tomorrow in the National 2 North basement battle (kick off 2pm). The two teams prop up the table with only three wins between them. Huddersfield go into the game on the back of a run of six consecutive defeats and will be hoping that a victory in the ‘Roses’ match will help put some wind in their season’s sails.

Last Saturday Huddersfield suffered a heavy defeat away at Fylde after a performance that director of rugby at the club Neil Ryan described as ‘defensively shocking’ He said, ‘The first half was probably the poorest we have played all season and the game was technically over at half time. There were some home truths spoken during the interval and the lads performed better in the second half. They were really disappointed after the game and are looking forward to righting some of the wrongs against Hoppers tomorrow.’

Ryan is under no illusion about the threat that Hoppers will pose. ‘They are playing some good rugby and even though they have only won twice they have performed well against teams higher up the league. Last Saturday they were very unlucky not to turn Sheffield Tigers over at Lightfoot Green. A last minute converted try by Tigers robbed them of what would have been their first home win. We are in for tough game and will need to be at our best to win it.’

Huddersfield will be without the services of skipper Ed Barber who was red carded late in the game at Fylde. The strong running centre has been a regular try scorer and he will be missed. Full back Kian Stewart is another absentee. He picked up an ankle injury during the two week lay off that followed Huddersfield’s last home game on 14th October. The pacey back three man is another of the team’s potential match winners and was last season’s joint top try scorer.

In their last two games Huddersfield have made a rod for their own back by conceding  tries through basic mistakes and defensive lapses leaving themselves playing catch up rugby. In both they created opportunities  but fell one try short of picking up a try scoring bonus point. Their last home game was against Sheffield Tigers and the team took to the field with high hopes. Ryan said, ‘On another day we could have beaten Tigers. We started slowly, giving them too much respect and too many opportunities. You simply can not afford to do that at this level.’

In all their games this season Huddersfield have produced periods of positive attacking rugby and have looked good with ball in hand through the phases. They will hoping to sustain that sort of quality for lengthier spells and put points on the board when their chances arise. They must also ensure that they don’t gift their opposition easy scores. That fault has proved their downfall in their recent games.

Huddersfield team…Thompson, Moore, Whitfield, Pearson, Barnard, Davis, Quinn, Hammond, Harrison, Potter, Ryder, Myers, Workman, Horsfall, F.Stewart, Rollins, Dawson, Haywood, Foreman, Wilson.

Written by Richard Sykes.

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