East London 0pts,
Wisbech were forced to call upon all their resources to win on Saturday as a number of first team squad members were not available for this Senior Vase first round tie.
If it had not been for Jack Malkin and Robbie Brooks (both are at university in London) agreeing to play, Wisbech would have been short.
East London are currently bottom of the London North East 3 and are without a win this season. They put Wisbech under pressure as the visitors struggled to gel together because of the changes.
Pack players Tom Martell (wing forward) and Charlie Roberts (front row) found themselves in the centres. Jack Malkin slotted in at scrum half and Robbie Brook on the wing. Stout defending prevent the home team from scoring while the scrum who had worked with former Wisbech coach Alex Wilcox at training started to take control of the set pieces.
Skipper of the day Will Pettit at fly half was able to control the game with some tactical kicking which put Wisbech on the front foot. The game became physical and tempers erupted – wing forward Johnny Blunt along with East London’s back row player found themselves in the sin bin for fighting.
As Wisbech increased the pressure the home side started to concede penalties. On 25 minutes Mark Laws who was carrying a groin injury slotted over a long distance kick to edge Wisbech ahead.
A break through midfield by Pettit offloaded the ball in the tackle to flanker Jack Smith who scored his first try for the club. Laws converted and Wisbech led 10-0 at half time.
Ten minutes into the second half violence erupted once more, Blunt was given a red card and an East London player a yellow. Wisbech had to defend for a long spell but the defensive line held solid.
As East London tired, Wisbech rallied. Pettit secured the victory when again he carved through the home defence to score a converted try. In the final minute winger Shane Vickers was given a straight red card for an illegal spear tackle.
“Vickers can consider himself totally unfortunate as it certainly was not a malicious tackle,” said manager Cliff Humphreys. “It was an excellent all round team performance. I must thank those lads who stepped in late on, there was a band of brother spirit, and the travelling supporters. It was much appreciated.
“The training session with Luke Feaviour on Wednesday certainly improved our rucking and mauling.
“It is disappointing however that for a number reasons a few first team squad players have not been available for the past two games in London. It is important that players attend training as we are looking to become more consistent.”
Wisbech entertain East London on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Wisbech II 7pts, Beccles II 41pts
Injuries cost the seconds who were unable to match their cup run of last year after being knocked out by a strong Beccles side.
Wisbech were stunned in the first quarter, were unable to match the physicality of the Beccles’ ball-carriers and trailed 19-0. Problems were compounded when scrum-half Tim Mason had a serious back injury leading to a change of pitches.
It seemed as if the long break for the ambulance sparked some ambition back into the seconds who came out flying for the last ten minutes of the first half. New signing James McElduff showed some fantastic pace to score under the posts, Sam Anderson standing in at fly-half converting.
For the first time Wisbech were on the front foot and led to kickable penalties, but Wisbech were unable to convert.
In the second half losing influential number 8 Toby Lindley to a nasty eye injury saw the Wisbech attack lose a little shape, and his replacement Ryan Turton was knocked out. Beccles ran in four more tries.
Wisbech have a chance to make amends as next Saturday they travel to Beccles for a league fixture.