Injury-hit Wisbech made to suffer on home soil as rivals Thetford take league spoils
PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 January 2020
Injury-hit Wisbech slipped to a 25-0 home defeat against Thetford in their latest London Three Eastern Counties outing at the weekend.
After suffering a heavy 70-0 loss at Cantabrigian a week earlier, they fielded a very different side, with no less than eight changes.
Andy Claydon, Raimondas Vinskna and Dan Di Meo joined the every-growing injury list ahead of the weekend, forcing director of rugby Leonard Veenendaal to ask scrum-half James Fear and winger Alex Watson to fill in at fly-half and inside centre respectively.
Henrikus Stankus also moved from wing to outside centre, while back row Matt Cunningham was used on the wing.
And Veenendaal said: "Injuries forced our hand to put in a call on Friday to James and Alex, who are currently away at university and have not trained or played with us for more than two seasons.
"Both of them made huge personal sacrifices to answer their club's SOS, even filling in out of position for which we are very grateful."
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Wisbech were the dominant side in the first half, but were unable to finish several try-scoring chances, and saw Thetford claim a converted try and penalty to lead 10-0 at half time.
The home side started the second half looking to cut out the efforts, confident of fighting their way back into the match.
But Wisbech were punished for poor discipline, with Nattachit Hunt shown a yellow card, before influential Bradley Williams saw red.
Thetford kicked another penalty and added two more tries to complete their win, as Sam Anderson took the Wisbech Round Table man of the match award for solid defensive work, including three try-saving tackles.
Stankus suffered a hamstring problem, while Nathaniel Humphreys injured an ankle, after six weeks out with the same problem, and Veenendaal added: "We started strongly but our lack of team cohesion and sticking to our game plan saw us failing to convert several scoring opportunities into points.
"Credit to the boys for sticking at it. A big thank you to James, Alex and Olly Mackett for stepping up to the plate.
"We could not buy a win with the wave of bad luck we're riding but it's an important week. We must learn our lessons, put this game behind us and bounce back when we travel to bottom of the league Beccles on Saturday."
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