Report of Wisbech v West Norfolk at Harecroft Road.

Having narrowly lost the away fixture 11-8 back in December, Wisbech 1st XV showed a complete performance at Harecroft Road.

They achieved a bonus point 54-0 victory over West Norfolk in the London 1 Easter Counties to claim the local bragging rights.

Wisbech dominated from the first minute scoring eight tries through Jack Malkin, a brace from James Napier, Henry Lankfer, Kerrie McMullen, Alex Watson, Sam Anderson with Malkin also impressively converting seven of the eight tries.

Wisbech Standard: thumbnail_Skipper Jack Malkin crashes over for the opening try.thumbnail_Skipper Jack Malkin crashes over for the opening try. (Image: AndyTitmuss)

With West Norfolk having beaten Cantabrigian the week before they came into the game as odds on favourites in search of win with local bragging rights at stake, the match was poised to be a highly competitive affair but it would be 'The Men in Red' who would start with intent.

In the first seven minutes, Wisbech dominated the ball, and, after an inspired pass from prop Kerrie McMullen, captain Jack Malkin crossed for the opening  try which he also converted to give the hosts a 7-0 lead in the early stages.

This would foreshadow a period of scintillating attacking play from the Men in Red, who looked threatening with every phase of play.

Minutes after the Jack Malkin’s score, James Napier who returned from injury, the fullback's footwork too much for the West’s defence as he touched down, Malkin conversion on target.

Not to be overshadowed by the backs’ fine attacking moves, it would be a forward who would be the next to score, Henry Lankfer powered his way through the defence to cross the try line. Malkin converted to stretch the host lead to 21-0.

After an intense, free-scoring opening 20 minutes, the game settled down. West Norfolk saw more of the ball but could not penetrate the determined Wisbech defence lead my Ethan Garford.

Wisbech capitalised on the away sides stuttered momentum, scoring their try bonus-point ahead of half time when a well-timed offload from veteran hooker Nathaniel Humphreys found McMullen, the prop showed his power to force his way over the line.

Malkin converted from the tightest of angles leaving 'The Men in Red' with a 28-0 lead on the brink of half time.

It would be Wisbech’s defence that would shine in the second half, as West’s ability to bounce back saw them pressurise the home side for periods of the second half.

But 'The Men in Red's' determined defence and their power and dominance in attack proved too much for West as the host went on to score a further four unanswered tries through James Napier with his second, Ethan Garford, Alex Watson and Sam Anderson.    

West would not be disheartened though and their spirit and will saw them battle until the end, the final whistle blew, giving Wisbech an emphatic 54-0 win.

Returning from injury Solomon Prestidge along with Bul Tagicakiverata and Brad William shone. In the backs skipper Malkin led from the front, with centres Wessels and Jiko continuing their fine form and James Napier was excellent. But try scorer Ethan Garford’s tackle count and outstanding work in defence earned him the man of the match award.

Having a near full squad to select from this week for the first time this season enabled us to select a strong match day squad.

“The boys worked on our shape and structure in training and it paid off today.”

Coach Gerhard Wessels commented: “Today’s performance shows when we have everyone available, we can go toe to toe with any team in this league, specially at home.”

Wisbech will next be in action on April 6 away to top of the league Wymondaham for their final Counties 1 Eastern Counties league match of the season.