Wisbech suffer back-to-back rugby defeats at hands of London 3 Eastern Counties visitors Woodbridge despite well taken try from Hendrikus Stankus
Wisbech suffered one of their most disappointing defeats of the season, 24-7, at the hands of London 3 Eastern Counties rivals Woodbridge on Saturday afternoon.
A well taken try from Hendrikus Stankus, and a conversation from Jack Malkin were the only points Wisbech registered against Woodbridge’s bonus-point win.
Wisbech rarely threatened on a day to forget for Leonard Veenendaal's men, who have now lost two consecutive matches in the league.
The away side asserted their dominance in the early stages, scoring a try off the back of a spell of pressure in the Wisbech 22, Jean-Paul Hart’s conversion gave Woodbridge a 0-7 lead after 20 minutes.
Wisbech then enjoyed their strongest minutes of the match, stringing several phases together building pressure on the visitor, the ball was spun out wide in the hands of the powerful winger Hendrikus Stankus with plenty of work to do beat three defenders to get over the try line. Jack Malkin from the tights of angles neatly slotted the ball through the posts to add the extras and draw the score level.
Wisbech finished the half strongly but failed to take their chances in good positions with several errors costing them, as they went into the break level 7-7.
Unfortunately for the Men in Red, the half began with another try from the away side, giving the hosts a mountain to climb.
Stellar defensive play from Woodbridge combined with Wisbech’s inability to apply any real pressure, and a rising penalty count was taking its toll on the home side.
But that was the calm before the Woodbridge storm. The travelling side then had ten minutes of magic, scoring another try establishing an 19-7 lead.
Wisbech were struggling to see the ball and make it count when they did, with the visitors pushing for the bonus point score. That came on 68 minutes when poor tackling allowed Woodbridge to slice through the Wisbech defence to score a five pointer, Hart missed the conversion.
There were a couple of strong performances, notably from Steenkamp, Malkin and Stankus but Thomas Chase’s work rate and strong performance for the full 80 minutes earned him the plaudits of being named the Wisbech Round Table man of the match.
Director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal (above) commented: "In the week we spoke about their forward pack coming here to show us what they’re about and our need to step up and control the football when we need to.
"Yes I am frustrated and disappointed with several off the ball incidents that went unnoticed by the match official and a couple of controversial decisions that went against us which we will review closely in the video analysis. All these I feel added up and had a huge impact on undoing our momentum.
"Make no mistake I’m also disappointed with how we sat back and watched them execute their game plan. There were too many individual errors which were punished by Woodbridge.
"The second half we played in all the wrong areas and showed very poor discipline against an efficient, well drilled side that was most disappointing and got what we deserved.
"We did some good things in patches and I thought Harry Newman had a solid performances in difficult conditions.
"The test for each player and the squad as a whole is how we react and bounce back from it when we travel to Crusaders."
• Wisbech now face old rivals Crusaders away Saturday 2:30pm kick-off and Veenendaal will undoubtedly demand better from his side.
• SUNDAY: Bury St Edmunds 19 Wisbech U16 17
On a very windy and wet day Wisbech under-16s travelled and had a late change of pitch while no referee turned up, with both sides scoring three tries.
The Wisbech coaches were very pleased with the team’s performance. Harry Holman had a strong game scoring two of the tree tries but Wisbech Round Table Man of the match went to Carlo Giglio for his strong running and outstanding work rate.