Veenendaal says his side ‘showed character’ after grinding out victory over Thurston

Wisbech 1st XV v Thurston. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech 1st XV v Thurston. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech boosted their promotion bid by claiming a slice of Eastern Counties Division One revenge last Saturday.

The local lads had launched their season back in September with a disappointing 45-32 setback at Thurston.

But, four months on and with only five players from that day still in the team, Wisbech set the record straight with a 19-12 triumph at Chapel Road.

And coach Leonard Veenendaal reckons the result highlight the immense improvement and development of his side in recent times.

He said: “With very heavy underfoot conditions, and with Wisbech having a history of not turning up in the first game after Christmas, this was always going to be a tough afternoon.

“I was very pleased with the way our lads stuck to their game and showed just how much they have grown as a team.

“There is no doubt they would have lost this game a year ago, but now they showed character to grind out the win.

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“We will continue to work on cutting out the errors to try to secure a top-three finish in the league.”

It took 20 minutes for the breakthrough to be made as Samuel Anderson was the beneificiary of a well-worked line-out maul when touching down for a try.

Another followed before the break as skipper Solomon Prestidge offloaded for Skippy Parsons to power over. Harry Newman added the extras.

Handling errors prevented Wisbech from turning pressure into more points in the second half and they were punished when the visitors grabbed a converted try.

But the response was pleasing as Wisbech upped their game to pin Thurston deep in their own half.

Wisbech upped their game pinning Thurston in their half of the field and Adam Bunton touched down for the sweetest of tries following a slick move through the backs after an initial line-out win from Prestidge which triggered a powerful maul to the Thurston 22.

Newman again guided over the conversion to clinch victory with Thurston grabbing a consolation try in the final minute.

Wisbech have no fixture on Saturday.