WISBECH’S preparation game for their important Vase tie on Saturday did not go to plan with only a late try rescuing a win against bottom of the table Broadlands.
They were forced to make a number of changes, under 17 Ollie Lake and second team winger Dan Roberts were given starts and young front row Kerrie McMallen was selected on the bench. Will Pettit moved to scrum half and Phil Martell into the fly half.
Wisbech scored early on with an unconverted Pettit try to ease the pressure and looked set for another comfortable away win, especially when James Griffin scored a second try to make it 10-0.
However, Broadlands have improved after signing a couple of players from local side Beccles. Wisbech started to concede ground and a couple of home penalties before half-time gave Wisbech a fragile lead.
Broadlands raised their game in the second half and pinned Wisbech back. A try midway through the half gave the home side the 11-10 advantage and they were close to causing an upset.
However with minutes to go a surge upfield saw Wisbech cross the try line. The ball appeared to be held up, but suddenly it squirted free and James Napier pounced to touch it down and the referee controversially awarded the try which Jon Turner converted.
Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “We were very disjointed. Our game plan did not flow and Broadlands forced us into making mistakes.
“Wisbech need to be totally committed for the rest of the season if we are to secure promotion especially at away games.”
Wisbech 2nd XV 31pts
BOTH clubs fielded development sides and in the first half Wisbech had all the possession and territory and were 24-3 up at half-time, thanks to two tries from Tim Mason, one from Ryan Tate and one from Agris Kokars.
The Wisbech pack performed well, especially the front row of Robert Woolard, Josh Anderson and Richard Cavill, with man of the man Jason Luffman dominating the lineout.
At half-time Cambourne brought on eight replacements and it was Wisbech’s turn to defend. Solid tackling from Cavill and Matt Mitchell helped to stop the Cambourne onslaught.
Mark ‘Bucko’ Williams, making his debut for the second team, was able to make breaks from the wing to ease the pressure. The seconds turned to Tate to run through the Cambourne defence and he scored under the posts to settle any nerves.
In the last 15 minutes sound tactical kicking from Ricky Harnwell and Sam Anderson stopped Cambourne from playing their rugby.
Captain Oliver Mackett stated: “It was a decent all-round performance from the team, however we will need to improve our game against Norwich who are cruising at the top of Norfolk Merit Table 1.”
Wisbech II host Norwich II at Harecroft Road, kick off is 2.15pm.