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Wisbech hand out a London 1 Eastern Counties thrashing to West Norfolk in derby clash





Wisbech delivered a power-packed display to a complete performance at Harecroft Road to achieve a bonus point 54-0 victory over West Norfolk in London 1 Eastern Counties.

The home side dominated from the first minute to score eight tries through Jack Malkin, James Napier (2), Henry Lankfer, Kerrie McMullen, Alex Watson, Sam Anderson with Malkin also impressively converting seven of the eight tries.

Wisbech director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal said: “Having a near full squad to select from this week for the first time this season enabled us to select a strong match day squad.

The Wisbech try scorers. Picture: Andy Titmuss
The Wisbech try scorers. Picture: Andy Titmuss

“The boys worked on our shape and structure in training and it paid off today.”

Coach Gerhard Wessels said: “Today’s performance shows when we have everyone available, we can go toe to toe with any team in this league, especially at home."

With West Norfolk having beaten Cantabrigian the week before they came into the game as odds-on favourites in search of win with local bragging rights at stake.

The match was poised to be a highly-competitive affair but it was The Men in Red who would start with intent.

In the first seven minutes, Wisbech dominated the ball, and, after an inspired pass from prop Kerrie McMullen, captain Malkin crossed for the opening try which he also converted to give the hosts a 7-0 lead in the early stages.

This would foreshadow a period of scintillating attacking play from the Men in Red, who looked threatening with every phase of play.

Minutes after Malkin’s score, James Napier who returned from injury, the fullback's footwork too much for the visiting defence as he touched down, Malkin conversion on target.

Not to be overshadowed by the backs’ fine attacking moves, it would be a forward who would be the next to score, Henry Lankfer powered his way through the defence to cross the try line and Malkin converted to make it 21-0.

After an intense, free-scoring opening 20, the game settled down. West Norfolk saw more of the ball but could not penetrate the determined Wisbech defence lead by Ethan Garford.

Wisbech capitalised on the away side's stuttered momentum, scoring their bonus-point try ahead of half-time when a well-timed offload from veteran hooker Nathaniel Humphreys found McMullen and the prop showed his power to force his way over the line.

Malkin converted from the tightest of angles to make it 28-0.

It was the Wisbech defence who stood tall in the second half, as West Norfolk's ability to bounce back saw them pressurise the home side for periods of the second half.

But the Men in Red's determined defence and their power and dominance in attack proved too much for West as the host went on to score a further four unanswered tries through Napier with his second, Garford, Alex Watson and Sam Anderson.

West would not be disheartened though and their spirit and will saw them battle until the end, the final whistle blew, giving Wisbech an emphatic 54-0 win.

Returning from injury, Solomon Prestidge along with Bul Tagicakiverata and Brad William shone.

In the backs, skipper Malkin led from the front, with centres Wessels and Jiko continuing their fine form and James Napier was excellent.

Try scorer Ethan Garford’s tackle count and outstanding work in defence earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Skipper Jack Malkin crashes over for the opening try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Skipper Jack Malkin crashes over for the opening try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Skipper Jack Malkin successful with an impressive seven from eight of the tee. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Skipper Jack Malkin successful with an impressive seven from eight of the tee. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Man of the match Ethan Garford powers over. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Man of the match Ethan Garford powers over. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Winger Sam Anderson beating the defence to the cross-field kick to score. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Winger Sam Anderson beating the defence to the cross-field kick to score. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Winger Alex Watson scores his individualistic opportunist try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Winger Alex Watson scores his individualistic opportunist try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Henry Lankfer breaking the tackle on his way to the try line. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Henry Lankfer breaking the tackle on his way to the try line. Picture: Andy Titmuss
The team face the camera. Picture: Andy Titmuss
The team face the camera. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Henry Lankfer crosses for his try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Henry Lankfer crosses for his try. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal congratulating MoM Ethan Garford. Picture: Andy Titmuss.
Director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal congratulating MoM Ethan Garford. Picture: Andy Titmuss.
Full-back James Napier on his return from injury crossing for one of his two tries. Picture: Andy Titmuss
Full-back James Napier on his return from injury crossing for one of his two tries. Picture: Andy Titmuss

Wisbech travel to league leaders Wymondham for their final Counties 1 Eastern Counties League match on Saturday.



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