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Wisbech’s RFU Papa Johns Cup run ends after defeat against Peterborough Lions at Harecroft Road





Wisbech’s RFU Papa Johns Cup run was put to an end on Saturday when they were beaten 43-19 by Peterborough Lions at Harecroft Road.

Injury troubles and unavailability created a selection dilemma for director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal, who fielded a side which included several players he hopes will be featuring more prominently next season.

The Lions, who compete in Regional 2 East Midlands - the league above Wisbech, did not have it all their own way and were made to work for their win.

Wisbech 1st XV face the camera
Wisbech 1st XV face the camera
Luca Hardy on the attack had a fantastic game. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Luca Hardy on the attack had a fantastic game. Picture: Andy Titmuss

It took 25 minutes for the first points to be scored when the Lions managed to score an unconverted try to take a 5-0 lead.

Wisbech then found their feet and ran through the phases in the Lions half.

Interplay between Gerhard Wessels and wing Luca Hardy allowed them to break down the right-hand side. Wessels was stopped a metre from the try line but managed to offload to James Napier who beat a defender to score. Jack Malkin converted to put the Men in Red ahead 7-5.

James Napier got the ball down for his try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
James Napier got the ball down for his try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Veteran Raimondas Vinksna with one of his many big carries. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Veteran Raimondas Vinksna with one of his many big carries. Picture: Andy Titmuss

The Lions responded with two tries of their own to make it 17-7 in favour of the visitors, so the Men in Red had it all to do in the second half going into the half-time break.

But the Lions picked up where they left off, scoring two converted tries in 20 minutes to establish a commanding position over Wisbech, who were desperately trying to find their way back into the game.

Trailing 29-7, Wisbech found a glimmer of hope through Henry Lankfer, who rounded off an offload from Ari Baghdouyan to score a try.

The Lions once again found themselves over the whitewash, and a mistake in the back saw them hack it through to score the easiest of tries.

Ari Baghdouyan claiming the lineout enjoyed a strong game. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Ari Baghdouyan claiming the lineout enjoyed a strong game. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Luke Green powers over for his try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Luke Green powers over for his try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Veteran Dave Wadsley on the charge. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Veteran Dave Wadsley on the charge. Picture: Andy Titmuss

Minutes later Wisbech fended off trouble in their own half when wing Luca Hardy made a try-saving tackle.

But the Men in Red were not going down without a fight. A Wisbech turnover inside the Lions’ 22 resulted in a penalty, Jack Malkin with the quick tap and go found the unstoppable force Luke Green who powered his way over.

The Lions once again found themselves over the whitewash with five minutes to play. The blow proved to be a fatal one for Wisbech’s chances and the game ended 43-19.

The Men in Red put in a valiant performance with Luca Hardy and Jake Smith sharing the Man of the Match award.



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