Wisbech Rugby Club smash rivals to set up dramatic last-day relegation decider
PUBLISHED: 09:00 31 March 2011
WISBECH’S titanic relegation battle is set for a dramatic finale after the rugby club kept their safety hopes alive by crushing fierce rivals Norwich.
The club fielded a second string side for their Senior Vase clash with Lowestoft & Yarmouth last week and that decision proved a masterstroke as a refreshed Wisbech ran riot at Harecroft Road on Saturday.
Will Pettit, returning from injury after three weeks on the sidelines, scored a magnificent hat-trick to inspire his side to a 34-10 victory and a crucial bonus point.
The result leaves them one point above the drop zone with just a trip to title-chasing Lowestoft & Yarmouth standing in the way of London North-East Division Three safety.
Coach Ben McCall said: “Norwich could see the difference in our team - our sheer determination. We wanted it more and we’ve kept it in our own hands - our league destiny is our own rather than relying on anyone else.
“The players were outstanding. Will Pettit proved a point at scrum-half. He’s got such a good rugby brain on him - he just sees a gap and goes for it.
“Tom (Long) was fantastic at fly-half. He took a little bit of a knock in the second half but refused to come off. It was dogged determination.
“His whole ethos and mentality is ‘we are not going to give in’. He does all I can ask from him.
“For me, as a former Norwich player, it was very satisfying. I was mildly smug.”
More tries from Tom Martell and vice-captain Shane Vickers - who was also in fine kicking form - helped Wisbech take another a big step in overhauling the 13 point deduction they were handed for fielding an ineligible player in November.
McCall said: “Before the game it was intense in the changing room. Everybody knew what we have got to do and after the game everyone was over the moon.
“We know that we are in with a shout now, if we had lost it would have been all over.”
• Ben Fouracre scored five tries as Wisbech Rugby Club U10s won two games against Fakenham on Sunday. Tries from Frank Etherington, Finlay Wilcox, James Shelly, Oliver Simpson, Thomas Nunn and Henry Hoyles sealed an improved performance.
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