Huddersfield RUFC were victims of a 57-17 thrashing to Preston Grasshoppers in a display which head coach Gareth Lewis described as “embarrassing and

unacceptable”.

Relegated Field were out to get revenge against a team who won at Lockwood Park before Christmas, but things fell apart from the beginning.

Despite welcoming back captain Alex Battye, Lewis Bradley, Lewis Workman and Gavin Rhodes to the starting XV, they couldn’t prevent Preston running in nine tries.

Second-rower Austen Thompson had to be replaced within the first minute after an injury, and soon after Field had conceded a soft try.

It wasn’t long until the home side scored a second converted try followed by a penalty, but when Liam Parfitt broke through to set up Tom Owen to go over it gave Huddersfield initial hope.

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Joel Hinchliffe was on kicking duties again with Chris Bell starting on the bench, and converted well from the touchline.

Any hope was gone, though, as Preston ran in three more tries before half time, with Lewis Allen converting all but one of his side’s first-half tries.

Huddersfield hit back within a minute of the re-start through Ross Thornton, but Hinchliffe couldn’t convert and Preston hit back with two further converted tries to give the Field no chance to comeback.

Bell, after a good dummy, scored to leave Huddersfield one try away from a bonus try point, but again Preston responded with another converted try of their own to seal the demolition.

“It was embarrassing. There’s no other way of putting it to be honest,” said coach Lewis.

“That performance was not acceptable.

“The fundamental rules of rugby are about carrying the ball out with conviction and knocking people back in the tackle, and we didn’t do that at all.

“We missed far too many tackles across the team, which is unlike us.

“We spilled the ball in key areas and we moved the ball too wide too early; our decision making was shocking.

“Whether the team is in National Two or National Three, it is not good enough to play like that.”

Lewis added: “For the most part of the season, it’s been a story of being so near but still so far away, and our performances have been great with so many near misses.

“That sadly goes completely out of the window with this performance.”

Huddersfield’s last home game of the season comes against Broadstreet on Saturday.

“I’ve asked the players how they want the season to end,” he explained.

“They need to make a pact together unless they want Broadstreet to come to Lockwood Park and run riot, which will happen if we perform like we did here.

“We have to improve. We have to put some pride back in to ourselves on the pitch now.

“We have the responsibility to the home crowd in our last game to show what Huddersfield Rugby Union is all about, because frankly this wasn’t a Huddersfield performance.”

Huddersfield: Hodson, Hodgson, Owen, Workman, Fletcher, Hinchliffe, Jeffrey, Battye, Thornton, Sanderson, Gavin Rhodes, Thompson, Nick Rhodes, Parfitt, Bradley. Subs: 1 Declan Thompson for Austen Thompson, 31 Tom Baxter for Laurence Sanderson, 46 Henry Walker for Gavin Rhodes, 52 Chris Bell for Dan Jeffrey, 58 Danny Grainger for Elliot Hodgson, 59 Laurence Sanderson for Tom Baxter.