Wisbech comeback not enough for win over Thetford 1st XV

Wisbech Rugby 1t xv v Swaffham
Wisbech Rugby 1t xv v Swaffham
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Wisbech 19 Thetford 23

Wisbech were looking to take revenge for a 49-0 defeat to Thetford earlier in the season, and a vastly improved performance from last week’s defeat away to Thurston.

Head coach, Leonard Veenendaal, drafted in veterans Greg Brownlow and Ben Wicks into the squad to give the side some experienced fire power.

In the early exchanges Wisbech certainly took the game to Thetford, who are currently league leaders, making the most of a number of penalty decisions against the visitors to apply pressure.

On 20 minutes Ben Wicks, showing his strength, burrowed his way over the line to score the opening try. Thetford responded and scored a converted try to edge ahead but shortly after captain Solly Prestidge took the ball inside Thetford’s 22 metres and powered over the line. Harry Newman added the extra points.

Leading 12–7 at the break and with a number of tired limbs, Wisbech knew that they would need to dig in. But as the half progressed the penalty count against Wisbech increased which allowed Thetford’s fly half the chance to convert two penalties and a drop goal in quick succession giving the visitors a 12-16 points lead.

Wisbech looked a beaten side when Thetford scored a converted try but to their credit forced their way back and pressured Thetford’s try line. Ben Wicks scored a try from close range and a Newman conversion got Wisbech back in the game, but with time running out Wisbech could not find a way past the defence.

Veenendaal was full of praise: “It was one hell of a game, 80 mintues of intense physical effort by both sides and although Thetford were the better side to a man all 18 Wisbech players put in outstanding performances.

“Ben Wicks and James Napier shared the man of the match award. I hope that the squad will take heart from this performance and finish off the season without any further defeats.”

Wisbech are at home on Saturday to Ipswich, kick off 2.30.