Wisbech finish third after crunch rugby loss
Second-placed Wisbech travelled to eighth-placed Swaffham for the last of their regular league fixtures knowing they needed a win to secure a promotion play-off place.
It was Swaffham that started the stronger with Wisbech conceding three penalties – the last one Swaffham converted to take a 3-0 lead.
Quick ball from the ensuring ruck was moved wide to Ben Chapman who bulldozed his way over for the opening score and Wisbech took a 5-3 lead. Wisbech earned a penalty of their own opting to kick it into corner for the lineout. As so many times this season Solomon Prestidge took the ball and set up the driving maul, Sam Anderson the beneficiary with the try to take Wisbech into a 10-3 lead at the break.
Wisbech’s ill-discipline continued, conceding several penalties. Swaffham’s fly-half was successful with one attempt, to make it 10-6.
Frustration crept in which led to an unsavoury punch-up with replacement left wing Lewis Haddon sent to the sin bin. Swaffham converted the penalty to make it 10-9.
Swaffham grew in confidence and Wisbech imploded as they scored a converted try under the posts to take a 16-10 lead. Wisbech fought back but a resilient Swaffham defence held firm. “I warned all week about the Swaffham threat and called on the boys to focus on and get intensity back in our build-up,” said coach Leonard Veenendaal.
“We have played some good rugby throughout the season to end third in the league having only lost one game in four to the top two sides.
“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. Hopefully this lesson will stand the squad in good stead for next season.”
MoM: Ben Chapman.
Wisbech will be holding their annual junior, senior and club awards evening on Friday, followed by the Rugby Club Ball on May 6. Details on their website www.pitchero.com/clubs/wisbechrufc