Wisbech faced Cantabs rugby club on Saturday for a long-awaited rematch in which the two were ready to go head-to-head following a previous tight clash.

Wisbech narrowly lost 26-29 to Cantabs on Sunday 13 January, in a game which will be seen as a missed opportunity for the Men in Red.

Wisbech Standard: Wisbech 1st XV on January 13.Wisbech 1st XV on January 13. (Image: Andy Titmuss)

Tries from Luke Green and a hat-trick from veteran Raimondas Vinksna were not enough for the Men in Red to secure the win they needed with the visitors running in four tries of their own.

The first half of the match showed both strong grit and determination from both teams.

Cantabs made the perfect start with two quick tries to take a 14 - 0 lead.

Wisbech’s forwards started to take control, turning over rucks and controlling the scrum enabling the Men in Red to reply with a two tries of their own through Vinksna  and Green to narrow the score to 14 -12 in favour of the visitors.

Cantabs responded with their third converted try five minutes before half-time to make it 12-21 at the break to the visitors.

The second half continued on with both teams pouring their hearts onto the pitch.

Wisbech who would be the first side to score in the second half with two more tries from Vinksna, both converted by skipper Malkin to take the lead 26 – 21.

Cantabs were able to push ahead again, with a t backs move straight of the training ground they were able to find space out wide to score a unconverted try to draw the scores level with seven minutes to play.

A small mixture of mistakes given away by both teams paved the way for Cantabs to convert a penalty and pull ahead 26 – 29 and holding off the Wisbech to see out the end of the game.

A tense final five minutes saw Wisbech come close to snatching the game with several fumbles letting them down, the score stood at 26 -29.

Wisbech props Luke Green and Kerrie McMullen shared the Wisbech man of the match accolade for their phenomenal work rate for the full 80 minutes.

Wisbech Director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal was left frustrated with his side’s slow start, decision-making and lack of clinical precision and patience.

Veenendaal felt his team’s slow start and not reacting well when put under pressure by their rivals cost them the game.

"The boys played well to come back from two tries down to take the lead in the second half to pretty much give the match away in the last 10 minutes," he said.

"We certainly have a few problems that we’re going to have to look at. Without being too disrespectful to Cantabs, they put us under pressure, but we didn’t help ourselves either."

“All the coaching team feels under pressure when you’re going through a patch like this, it’s perfectly natural. We’re all working real hard and we’re trying our best.

“Like always, I look at myself first and ask what I could’ve done better, but I’m disappointed with the first and last 10 minutes of the game.

“We felt good [before the game] and felt good all week, but under pressure we didn’t respond well, and our decision-making under pressure was terrible today.”

It has been a difficult season for the Men in Red and Veenendaal admits it will be tough for the team to get over this loss as they prepare for a difficult fixture away to Diss next weekend.

“All I know is Monday comes around again and we go again, but it’s going to be quite hard to pick ourselves up off the canvas from this one. But we’ve got no choice, we have to do it, and I know the boys are determined to do so” he added.

In spite of the loss there where plenty of positives  for Wisbech who have yet to secure a win but have not lost their spirit and determination.

Wisbech are set to face Diss RFC on January 20 when they will be hunting for their first league win.