Wisbech Wildcats start rugby season with bonus point victory vs Cantabs III in Greene King Eastern Counties 2 at Harecroft Road
A rainy night at Harecroft Road did not dampen the spirits as the Wisbech Wildcats earned a bonus point victory against Cantabs III in the Greene King Eastern Counties 2 league.
The match was poised to be a highly competitive affair but it would be Cantabs who scored early to take the lead.
Wisbech then found a foothold in the game, building the pressure to put themselves in a commanding position deep in Cantabs territory but spurned several early chances.
The pressure eventually told with Cantabs conceding a yellow card and a man in the sin bin, Dan Di Meo slotted it away for a straightforward three points.
U18 colt George Dady on his senior rugby debut scored the men in red's first try following a quick break from Wisbech, the conversion narrowly missed the posts as the Wisbech took the lead.
Cantabs fought back making their pressure count and some poor tackling from Wisbech saw them go score another try out wide.
Wisbech hit back through veteran David Brodie, with a chip and chase he gathered his own kick beat two defenders to score a try that will undoubtedly be in contention for try of the season.
Wisbech lost a man to the sin bin, fly half Dan di Meo with a high tackle shown a yellow card allowed Cantabs back into the game to finish the half strong with two further tries.
Cantabs started the second half hungry for victory and their intensity tested the 'the Men in Reds’ defence. Wisbech held firm winning a penalty of their own, with Di Meo still in the sin bin Luke Green calmly kicked the penalty to reduce the deficit.
Cantabs' reponse was immediate, with a flurry of fine attacking moves they scored again.
With Di Meo back from the sin bin Wisbech running through the phases build the pressure to put themselves in a commanding position deep in the Cantabs half. The Men in Reds' pressure paid off with two quick tries of their own to cut the visitors lead to 32-25.
Wisbech had their tails up, dominating and deep in the Cantabs half, eventually the pressure paid off with a try in the left corner after a series of phases in the Cantabs 22, the visitors now had holding on to a slender 32-30 lead.
Wisbech were now dictating the match, running through the phases and winning a series of penalties to put themselves in a commanding position deep in Cantabs territory. The pressure told earning another kickable penalty. Luke Green slotted away to snatch the lead by one point 33-32 to the home side.
However, on the 78th minute Wisbech made their pressure count when Nathaniel Humphreys had the last say rounded off a number of pick and goes to power over the line and put the game beyond doubt. The final whistle blew, handing Wisbech Wildcats a hard fought 38-32 victory.
Veteran scrum-half Dave 'Tin-Tin' Brodie was named the Wisbech Round Table Man of the Match.
Captain and veteran Mark Goude celebrating his 50th birthday this week commented: "Cantabs are a good team, they have a very good scrum and a really strong defence. We were made to work for the full eighty minutes and the boys were given a good test.
"There were lots of positives to build on. The Wildcats are a great mix of players, some older veterans and some younger under-18 players but all working together with a great team spirit.
"We wish the injured Cantabs player a speedy full recovery
"It's Wendens Ambo next and I'm really looking forward to that, get the Essex boys up here and I'm sure we'll have a bit of fun!"
Saturday 19th Wisbech 1st XV travel to Thurson while the Wildcats face Wendens Ambo at home, both matches KO 3pm.
Training Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm.
* On Sunday Wisbech continued their winning ways, the under-16’s scoring nine tries and eight conversions to convincingly beat St Ives 61-0 in very wet and windy conditions away at St Ives.
More by this authorPete Woodhouse