Parsons try crucial as strong defence bolsters Harrogate

Harrogate 12Preston Grasshoppers 9

In an error-strewn match, Harrogate's strong defence earned them their win.

Two crucial early injuries upset the home game plan but few players can look back on their performances with satisfaction.

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Jamie Broadley sustained a nasty knee injury and this resulted in two wingers playing in the centre. Preston had gone offside in the incident and, from the ensuing penalty, Harrogate set up a drive from which prop Simon Davies scored.

Hoppers, who had not played for six weeks, narrowed the gap through Alex Zavallis-Roebuck's penalty but the quality of the game deteriorated.

After 27 minutes, try-scoring prop Davies had to leave the field with a neck injury and Harrogate's scrummaging suffered.

Penalties were awarded to both sides and Harrogate added to their problems by repeatedly missing touch from these kicks. On the stroke of half-time, Zavallis-Roebuck kicked another penalty to give Hoppers a 6-5 lead at the break.

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In the second half, centre Danny McGee charged down an attempted Preston clearance and Steve Parsons pounced on the loose ball. He broke the first tackle and sprinted 40 metres to score near the posts, giving Mike Aspinall a straightforward conversion.

With 15 minutes remaining, Preston mounted spirited attacks but the home defence held firm.

A penalty from Hoppers' replacement stand-off, Mark Edwards, was the final score.

Hull Ionians 50

Waterloo 14

RESURGENT Hull Ionians ran in seven tries to one against rusty Waterloo.

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Ionians stole the ball from the kick-off and kept it alive for James Greene to break and Oli Marns to score, Joe Wright converting.

Waterloo's Jack Matthews crossed on the overlap before Wright and James O'Brien exchanged penalties.

Two quick tries put Ionians in control. A loop move by James Ferguson enabled Joe Wright to send Steve Slingsby side-stepping over before an attacking lineout set the platform for James Greene to race home, Wright converting. .

O'Brien struck penalties either side of the break but after that it was all Ionians.

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A quick tap penalty by Adam Thomas ended with Marns crossing and then a break from broken play by Greene sent Rob Whittam diving between the posts.

The final two scores came from five-metre scrums, first a penalty try and then a pushover try for Chris Cusack. Joe Wright added three conversions and replacement Iain Gordon the final goal.