BITTER SWEET: Captain Long bemoans injury woes as Wisbech Rugby Club power to derby win
INJURY-PLAGUED Wisbech Rugby Club captain Tom Long has cursed his luck after he broke his thumb in the dying seconds of his side’s victory over rivals West Norfolk.
Long was sidelined for almost three months of last season’s relegation fight after tearing his shoulder ligaments.
And the 31-year-old skipper faces a similar lay-off after his latest knock, which marred Wisbech’s emphatic 42-19 win over their neighbours.
“I just don’t know how it happened,” said Long. “I tackled someone, got up and thought I’d dislocated it. I went to hospital straight after the game and they told me it was fully broken.
“I’m really frustrated because it was bitter sweet on Saturday. The result was fantastic, we were better than them for the whole afternoon but then the injury happened.
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“It was a massive high to a massive low.”
Tries from James Napier (2), John Turner (2), Joe Barfoot (2), and Andy Claydon helped Wisbech kickstart their promotion push in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties Division 1 with Saturday’s bonus-point win.
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Vice-captain Shane Vickers - who will take charge of the team in Long’s absence - was also in fine kicking form, slotting two conversions and a penalty.
Long, who has already had an operation on his broken thumb, praised Wisbech’s squad depth and backed his team-mates to continue their bid for a quickfire return to London North-East Division Three without him.
He said: “This has been one of the most highly anticipated seasons for a long time. We’ve got a strong squad with new players, there’s talk of trying to go unbeaten and talk of going straight back up.
“I’ve been really looking forward to the challenge so it is bitterly disappointing.
“When something like this happens it’s just a freak accident. You can’t contend with it, no matter how much fitness work you do. It’s purely bad luck.”
• WISBECH II were inspired by winger Greg Brownlow as they made a winning start to the season by overpowering Norwich Crusaders 13-8.
Brownlow ripped Norwich to shreds with his pace - running in both of Wisbech’s tries.
Sam Anderson added a penalty to seal the victory and maintain his side’s 100 per cent record so far this season.