Wisbech rugby players started out promising but when the whistle blew they lose 19-34 to Woodbridge

PUBLISHED: 16:27 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:06 21 February 2018

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

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Wisbech 19 – 34 Woodbridge

Wisbech welcomed Woodbridge to Harecroft Road on a bright and dry afternoon.

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

Both sides looked comfortable in the opening minutes and the first score went to the visitors when winger Smith kicked a penalty awarded for offside at a ruck.

From the restart Wisbech began making progress through effective carrying and patient recycling of the ball. Woodbridge conceded a number of penalties and eventually Jack Malkin made a half break to pass to Jamie Parsons who scored near the posts.

Harry Newman added to extra two points. Woodbridge responded in a similar manner with their forwards picking strong lines to test the home defence which was outnumbered on the right hand side and Smith scored out wide. The try was not converted.

The next passage of play saw Wisbech searching for openings in the visitors defence. The centre partnership of James Napier and Freddy Foreman looked capable of creating space for wingers Alex Watson and Rory Willis.

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

The Woodbridge back row and centres had to work hard to shore up their defensive line and relieve the pressure. The same combination gave Woodbridge an attacking platform in the home 22m area and flanker Bowman ran hard to score a try that Smith converted.

The remainder of the first half saw Wisbech on the attack. Nathan Goodale, Henry Lankfer and Will Lankfer all carried the ball well and Dave Brodie and Jack Malkin at half back kept probing the Woodbridge defence.

A sequence of penalties to Wisbech in the visitors 22m area resulted in a yellow card for the Woodbridge hooker and the home side pushed hard to take advantage of the extra man.

Space was found on the left wing and Rory Willis looked set to score in the corner before he was tackled high by the covering defender and the referee awarded a penalty try. The half ended with the score 15-14 to Woodbridge.

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

The second half started with the same patterns of play as the first. Both sides showed a willingness to move the ball wide and use their forwards to punch holes to create space.

Sound defence by Sam Anderson and Nat Hunt led to a turn over in their 22m area giving them possession that they used patiently to progress up field.

James Napier made a break just inside his own half and set off towards the Woodbridge line. Unfortunately the supporting players were unable to secure possession that would have led to a vital score and Woodbridge cleared their lines with a long kick by fly half Hart.

The visitors took control of the game with the next two tries scored by Plummer and Hart to make the score 27 -14 to Woodbridge.

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

The match had developed into a hard-fought and fast -paced contest and Wisbech were determined to close the gap and get back into the game.

A further period of pressure deep in the Woodbridge half looked likely to bring the scores closer and set up a tense finish. A dropped pass within metres of the visitors line was picked up by Hart and Smith kicked up field.

Clogg, the Woodbridge full back made a spectacular pick up and sprinted in from 75 metres. Smith converted a try scored against the run of play.

The Wisbech spirit was not dulled by the this score and the home side again showed that they had the capacity to cause problems when they had the ball.

Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard Wisbech vs Woodbridge PHOTO: Simon Ballard

James Patrick, who had come on for Rory Willis caused problems on the left wing but Harry Newman at full back was always willing to run the ball back to give his forwards a target from which to set up possession was awarded the Wisbech Round Table man-of-the-match.

The last score of the match went to James Napier who side stepped through the Woodbridge defence after a sustained attack in which forwards and backs combined well. The final whistle went with the score 34 -19 to Woodbridge.

• Wisbech next play on March 3 when they welcome Newmarket for a 2.30pm kick off. If you are interested in ‘getting your boots back on’ or getting involved in a new sport contact wrufc.seniorcoach@outlook.com. Training Wednesdays 7pm.

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