Ionians eye survival as Clarke's four tries keep Huddersfield up

Hull Ionians 29Preston Grasshoppers 3

Hull Ionians made hard work of it in the opening quarter but they gained the bonus point victory they wanted to take them one step closer to National League safety.

Hoppers had their chances early on with the strong wind behind them but Ionians were giving nothing away and took their chances to lead 12-3 at the break then played the second half in the opponents' half to add three more tries for a comfortable victory.

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It proved a fitting way for prop Neil Lyon to celebrate his 100th 1st XV match.

Nick Smith's penalty was the first score in the 18th minute but repeated offences by Hoppers, who conceded 11 first half penalties, saw prop John Young yellow-carded and Ionians struck twice. Danny Hague powered over before a break by Adam Thomas resulted in Steve Slingsby crossing for James Ferguson to convert.

Ionians then dominated the second half with Ferguson crossing twice and Slingsby scoring their other try.

Waterloo 19

Centre Matt Clarke ran in four tries as Huddersfield made sure of National Two rugby next season.

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They ran in eight tries with Chris Johnson converting all but one – and that hit the post – as well as slotting two penalties.

The crushing win over the basement club stretched Huddersfield's unbeaten run to five matches in which they have scored over 200 points.

The committee is weighing up a decision over the appointment of a new coach for next season, having decided not to renew Mark Sowerby's contract. The new coach is not expected to be named until after the final match of the season.

Rugby 26

Harrogate 34

HARROGATE were 19-0 up in 25 minutes and should have added at least another couple of tries.

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Rugby then scored a converted try on their first visit to Harrogate territory and 'won' the rest of the match.

Kyle Dench set up the first try for Jamie Broadley before Mike Aspinall's kick was collected by Steve Parsons, who touched down.

Si Davies powered through between the posts before Aspinall sent in Steve Hewetson for his first try for the club.

Joe Marston opened Rugby's account before Broadley's second try claimed a bonus point.

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Rugby wing Tom Harris went over but Ed Smithies gathered from deep to stroll through and then replacement wing Danny McGee scored Harrogate's final try. Harris's pace took him clear to gain Rugby a deserved bonus point in stoppage time.