Coach Veenendaal calls on Wisbech Rugby Club to rise to Wanstead challenge

Leonard Veenendaal.

Leonard Veenendaal. - Credit: Archant

Coach Leonard Veenendaal has called on his players to banish the memories of their last game when they host Wanstead on Saturday.

Wisbech were thumped 60-12 by Cantabrigian in their last game before the winter break, while Wanstead drew 18-18 with SSE London Three North East leaders Campion.

Veenendaal said: “I was so unhappy with the performance and losing by 60 points that I considered my future after the game.

“After a drubbing like that you really want to get back on the pitch but because of the winter break we still have it hanging over us.

“We will work hard this week at training and have scheduled an extra training session for both the first and second team on Friday.

“Wanstead are favourites but we are happy to wear the underdogs title and the players must rally to the challenge of this game and our following matches against Upminster and Old Cooperians.”

Wanstead won 50-26 when the two sides met earlier this season but Veenendaal says they took positives from the spirit showed by the side, mainly made up of second team players, after they fell 38-0 behind within 25 minutes.

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He said: “It was a very gutsy performance from mainly second team players who may have been undone in terms of skills but showed great heart and passion.

“In the camp we still talk about replicating the spirit we showed in that game.”

Veenendaal joined Wisbech in September after coaching the East Midlands representative side.

He hopes his side, which sit eighth in the league, can climb up the table in the second half of the season.

He said: “As a team our focus for the second half of the season is to lay a foundation of continuity, build on the positives and overcome our indifferent form, particularly our away form which has been disappointing so far.

“For a team that narrowly avoided relegation last season we have set an ambitious goal to finish the season mid-table or hopefully higher.”