RUGBY: Wisbech edge out Crusaders during 'tense finish' at hard-earned victory game at Harecroft Road

PUBLISHED: 15:52 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 18 November 2019

Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard Veenendaal

Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard Veenendaal

Supplied/Leonard Veenendaa

A tense finish resulted in 'The Men in Red' grinding out a hard earned victory.

Try Scorer Solomon Prestidge. Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard VeenendaalTry Scorer Solomon Prestidge. Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard Veenendaal

Tries from Henry Lankfer, Dan Di Meo and Solomon Prestidge and three conversion were just enough to seal victory for the 'Men in Red'.

The hosts took an early lead, a strong carry from Ryan Campbell got Wisbech setup a ruck five meters inside the Crusaders half.

A well-timed offload from Solomon Prestidge found Henry Lankfer who broke two tackles, the big man sprinting forty meters to score under the posts and Andy Claydon added the extras with the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Crusaders fought back to win a penalty five meters from the Wisbech line.

Wisbech Round Table MoM Andy Claydon (left) congratulated by club captain David Wadsley (right). Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard VeenendaalWisbech Round Table MoM Andy Claydon (left) congratulated by club captain David Wadsley (right). Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard Veenendaal

Opting to scrum, Crusaders turn on the power driving Wisbech back allowing their number-8 Calum Widdrington to score a converted try to level the scores 7-all.

The home side found the form they had shown in the early stages of the game, they started taking control while Crusaders defended resolutely.

On the stroke of half-time, after several quick phases, scrum-half Zac Lakey changes the direction of attack finding Dan Di Meo who stepped through the Crusaders defence which would have earned him three ten's from the Strictly judges, outpacing the cover defence for a super converted try to create a 14-point gap between the two teams with second half to play.

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The 'Men in Red' appeared rejuvenated after the restart and began to pressurise the visitors.

Wisbech's relentless attacking threat was rewarded when Solomon Prestidge strong run broke several tackles to dot down under the post for a try, which was followed up with a conversion from Claydon to take the score to 21-7.

Wisbech dominance was short-lived after the referee deemed a tackle from Henry Lankfer to be late earning him ten minutes in the sin bin.

Crusaders continued to dominate, with Wisbech a man down, The scrum was creaking, number-8 Calum Widdrington picked up with three Wisbech defenders struggling to contain him he offloaded to scrum-half Jamie Dack to score a converted try on the 60th minute closing the gap to seven point between the two teams with just twenty minutes to play.

Try Scorer Dan Di Meo. Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard VeenendaalTry Scorer Dan Di Meo. Wisbech Rugby Club edge out Crusaders at victory game at Harecroft Road. Picture: Supplied/Leonard Veenendaal

Wisbech now under pressure their Achilles heel of ill-discipline started getting the better of them.

Raimondas Vinksna sin binned reducing the home side to thirteen men and putting the home side under immense pressure.

The resolute determination and defence from veteran Ben Wicks along with some smart game management from Wisbech's Round Table man of the match fly half Andy Claydon kept Crusaders attacking pressure at bay.

Crusaders dominance was rewarded in the 79th minute rounding off a number of pick and goes to power over the line.

Oliver Wrights effort strayed just wide of the uprights to the relieve of the home side to claim a hard fought 21-19 victory.

Next up, Wisbech travel to 3rd in the league Ely on Saturday, November 23 for what is always a tough local derby.

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