Wisbech 1st XV 27pts,
This was a tough test for Wisbech against third placed Harwich who were a strong organised side and it took Wisbech time to break down their resistance.
In the early exchanges Harwich were forced to defend but Wisbech lacked a clinical edge and on 20 minutes – and from their first attack – Harwich slotted over a penalty. Harwich did well to spoil Wisbech ball but on 30 minutes blind side back row John Blunt, who was playing his first senior game for two years, popped up to score Wisbech’s first try which made the half-time score 5-3.
At the turn around it was Harwich turn to defend the low bright sun and Jon Turner launched a number of high balls into the opposition’s 22 metres which put the visitors on the back foot.
The forwards started to control the game and with the backs now finding their feet, Joe Barfoot, from full back, joined the line to score in the corner. Mark Laws playing at scrum half slotted the conversation and minutes later he added a penalty to ease Wisbech into a 15-3 lead.
With 10 minutes to go and with the visitors visibly tiring the gaps started to open up which allowed Tom Martell to go through a gap to score a converted try.
Wisbech now went looking for a valuable bonus point and winger James Napier collected the ball on the home 10-metre line and weaved his way to the try line to score probably one of the best tries ever seen at Wisbech in recent years.
Manager Cliff Humphreys said: “We showed bags of character. Napier’s try was a real classic. We go to Mersea Island next Saturday and hopefully we will be at full strength as we need to keep up the pressure on league leaders Cantabs, who bet Mersea 83-3 at the weekend.
“It is starting to look as though the league will be a two-horse race between Cantabs and us. “
March 1sts XV 0,
Wisbech 2nd XV 10pts
March started the match by playing the better rugby in opening 15 minutes but Wisbech’s defence was strong enough to deny then from getting to much momentum. March missed a couple of kickable penalties in the opening exchanges and were also held up over the line in this period.
In the last 20 minutes of a pretty scrappy half, Wisbech camped in March’s 22 Without being able to break the deadlock.
Wisbech started the second half with a much improved tempo and it wasn’t long before they had a couple of penalties in a kickable position within the space of two minutes. Sam Anderson slotted the second after the first was pulled wide by the wind.
In the 60th minute Wisbech had a penalty 10 metres out from the try line where they decided to run the ball. Number 8 Ben Wicks who was running a dummy line unexpectedly received the ball but was still able to bundle his way over for a try. Anderson added the two points.
Wisbech had several other opportunities to stretch the lead including a couple of breaks by centre Ryan Tate which saw him come close to the tryline on more than one occasion.