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Leonard Veenendaal's men without a win in three matches and have injuries in key positions

By Fenland Citizen Reporter

Wisbech’s difficult start to 2019 continued on Saturday afternoon when they were beaten 24-19 by Fakenham.

The loss leaves Leonard Veenendaal's men without a win in three matches, as his side struggles with several injuries in key positions.

Wisbech, who nearly upset league leaders Ely the week before, scored within the first four minutes, Jack Malkin offloading to David Wadsley who neatly slipped through the gap for the opening try under the posts. Harry Newman was successful with the conversion.

Wisbech at Fakenham 2.19 L-R Tom Goude (17), Mark Goude (father), Ben Goude (17) and Wisbech Round Table MoM Pat Grote (7089663)
Wisbech at Fakenham 2.19 L-R Tom Goude (17), Mark Goude (father), Ben Goude (17) and Wisbech Round Table MoM Pat Grote (7089663)

Fakenham hit back with a converted try of their own to level the scores 7-7.

Wisbech put Fakenham under pressure earning a penalty and opting to kick into the corner. Fakenham's number eight was binned for illegally pulling down the maul. Again Wisbech again went for the corner and from the ensuing maul Wadsley powered his way over for his second try, Newman converted.

Wisbech's ascendancy was over for the rest of the match as their Achilles heel of ill-discipline started returning, Henrikas Stankus sin binned for a deliberate knock on. With Wisbech down to 14 men Fakenham hit back with a try to cut the Wisbech lead to 12-14 at half-time.

The previous week’s free-flowing structured attacking rugby from Wisbech was nowhere to be seen as Fakenham’s momentum carried over into the second half.

Wisbech opportunities went begging as the backs made the wrong decisions not to pass or knocked on at crucial times. To compound matters Pat Grote, who had tackled everything that moved, then got binned for a 'late tackle'.

But James Napier made a break offloading to Jack Malkin for Wisbech's third try, Newman missing the conversion, 19-12.

Another unconverted try brought the hosts within two points, 17-19.

With eight minutes left on the clock skipper Solomon Prestidge was sin-binned. With Wisbech again down to 14 men, Fakenham were rewarded with a converted try. It left Wisbech in a run of three straight defeats in the Greene King IPA London 3 Eastern Counties but they still sit in fifth place.

Wisbech could celebrate the return to the 1st XV of veteran Mark Goude alongside his twin sons Ben and Tom on debut – who only turned 17 two weeks ago – and all three were outstanding.

Director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal said: “Obviously we are really disappointed with the result against Fakenham, we didn’t take our chances.

"I have to be honest, too many players were guilty of taking the wrong decisions suffering from 'white line fever', we were our own worst opponents, the ongoing ill-discipline issues cost us the match today.

"Players have to take responsibility, I will be having some tough discussions with some players and some tough decisions will have to be made this week."

Wisbech's next fixture is a crunch rematch with old rivals Woodbridge at Harecroft Road on Saturday, February 16.


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