Lead­ers shocked by per­fect Pre­ston

The Rugby Paper - - National League 2 North - By AN­TON JONES

HULL Io­ni­ans suf­fered just their sec­ond de­feat of the sea­son to bot­tom half side Pre­ston Grasshop­pers, who pro­duced a su­perb all-round dis­play.

Af­ter strug­gling away at Hinck­ley last week, they re­turned home to shock the league lead­ers – scor­ing four tries by half-time.

James Gough got the first try in­side five min­utes af­ter smart play by Paul Arnold.

And just seven min­utes later Rouban Birch went over the line next to the posts, af­ter a clever kick into the 22 from Gough found Luke Proc­ter who in turn fed the flanker to scored. Tom David­son missed the con­ver­sion af­ter the ball fell off the tee.

Io­ni­ans did get on the score­board with a James San­der­son try and Lewis Minikin’s con­ver­sion re­duced the deficit to five.

But Io­ni­ans were then pun­ished through a Proc­ter try and David­son con­ver­sion. Hop­pers kept the pres­sure on, with Tyler Spence avoid­ing a tackle to score in the cor­ner to get the bonus point, with David­son con­vert­ing.

David­son added an­other penalty be­fore the break and the play­ers left to a rap­tur­ous re­cep­tion af­ter a per­fect first 40.

The sec­ond half be­gan and it was more of the same as the Grasshop­pers showed their ad­van­tage but did not ex­tend their lead.

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