GALLERY: Humphreys praises Wisbech side after impressive Old Cooperians win

09:42 28 January 2014

Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.

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Boss Cliff Humphreys praised his side after they produced an outstanding performance to upset promotion chasing Old Cooperians 13-7 at Harecroft Road on Saturday.

Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech went into the game on the back of three losses but dug deep in horrible conditions to earn a surprise win in a full-blooded contest.

He said: “It was absolutely brilliant. Cooperians probably looked at our previous results, saw we have been struggling and underestimated us but we sent them back to Essex with their tails between their legs.”

Wisbech, who are eighth out of 12 sides in SSE London Three North East, have the weekend off.

They host Old Brentwoods, who are one place below them, next Saturday.

Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.Wisbech rugby vs Old Cooperians. Picture: Steve Williams.

Humphreys believes Wisbech’s upcoming home games with Old Brentwoods, Wymondham, Beccles and Harlow will go a long way to deciding if they will stay up this season.

He said: “Those four home games are key. If we win them, we will be pretty much assured of staying up.

“The pleasing thing is the players have really upped the ante and are responding well to Leonard Veenendaal, who has been brilliant.”

Wisbech took the game to Cooperians and made the breakthrough in controversial circumstances on 20 minutes.

Shane Vickers charged down a kick and Greg Brownlow, from an offside position, touched down.

Wisbech continued to attack but, on the half hour mark, Cooperians turned the ball over within their 22 metres and scored a long distance try, which was converted.

Cooperians started the second half strongly but Wisbech’s defence stood firm and the hosts re-took the lead through an Andy Claydon penalty.

Wisbech’s forwards then came to the fore and Kerrie McMullen powered over from close range.

Coach Leonard Veenendaal said: “To a man we played our hearts out. It was great to see Jon Turner back in the centre as he gives our backs a lot of physical presence.

“Steve Priest at fly half played well as did the forwards but Brownlow took the man of the match award for his sheer grit and determination.

“Ali Comben was given the captaincy for the match and led the team well.”

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