Laws penalty sets seal on Wisbech comeback

Wisbech Rugby 1t xv v Swaffham
Wisbech Rugby 1t xv v Swaffham
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Wisbech 29 Ipswich 26

Wisbech found themselves 17-0 down inside the first 10 minutes as they failed to deal effectively with the visitors’ physical game plan, but mounted a stunning comeback.

Ipswich went ahead courtesy of a penalty and two converted tries, the first was scored when Wisbech had dropped the final pass within the visitors’ 22 metres and the Ipswich winger was able to kick the loose ball ahead; although the referee failed to see that he had knocked on before touching down.

Wisbech hit back when, from a catch and drive at the line, hooker James Boswell scored a try; but by half-time the visitors converted another penalty to lead 20-5.

At the interval both skipper Solly Prestidge and head coach Leonard Veenendaal called for the team to exercise the game plan more fluently.

The second half did not start that well as the visitors added another penalty, but shortly after Wisbech began their fight back. Ball retention improved and as a result the visitors could not compete with the pace and movement of the ball.

Wisbech scored two well worked tries in quick succession when Raimondas Vinska and Nathan Goodale crossed the line and with Mark Laws adding the conversions Wisbech were 19-23 down with 10 minutes remaining on the clock.

Ipswich edged ahead again with another penalty but shortly after Boswell scored his second try from a driving maul and Laws’ conversion levelled the score.

In the final minute Laws rode the pressure to convert a penalty to give Wisbech a dramatic win.

“We certainly pulled the rabbit out of the hat today,” said Veenendaal. “It was not pretty and we were rusty at times but credit must go to the whole 18 who showed their desire to win when their backs were to the wall.

“Captain Solly Prestidge and centre James Napier had big games today and were both awarded man of the match. I would like to see more players at training as we have some big games coming up.”