RUGBY: Wisbech succumb to heaviest defeat of Eastern Counties League season after ‘very poor’ performance

PUBLISHED: 16:05 13 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:47 21 January 2020

Wisbech under 16's produced a spirited performance against Shelford under 16s. Picture: Leonard Veenendaal

Wisbech under 16's produced a spirited performance against Shelford under 16s. Picture: Leonard Veenendaal

Leonard Veenendaal

A much-changed Wisbech 1st XV crumbled to their heaviest defeat of the season at second-placed Cantabs in the London 3 Eastern Counties League on Saturday.

Wisbech under 16's produced a spirited performance against Shelford under 16s. Picture: Leonard VeenendaalWisbech under 16's produced a spirited performance against Shelford under 16s. Picture: Leonard Veenendaal

The warning signs were apparent at Sedley Taylor Road after a poor first-half when the Wisbech set piece failed to find parity or compete on the opposition ball.

Retaining possession was a challenge as Wisbech appeared unable to make tackles stick against a well-drilled and efficient outfit.

It was a tall order for the Fenland club having gone 31-0 down against a strong and physical opponent before a dismal second-half display.

The defensive ability and ball handling skills were not what was expected, and possession was seemingly turned at will.

Wisbech under 16's produced a spirited performance against Shelford under 16s. Picture: Leonard VeenendaalWisbech under 16's produced a spirited performance against Shelford under 16s. Picture: Leonard Veenendaal

In the end, the result was a fair reflection of a dominant home performance, but you can recognise the efforts of the Wisbech bench which certainly lifted the mood by showing some passion and pride.

Head coach Nico Steenkamp said. "I accept there where some senior players unavailable, but it was an opportunity for players to step up and fill that void.

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"I was really disappointed with our lack of defensive application and our attitude was very poor on the day.

"If we play like that against Thetford at home next week, it could very well be a cricket score so we will be looking for those selected to give us a response."

Wisbech take on Thetford at Harecroft Road on Saturday (2pm), who sit fourth in the table.

Wisbech under 16s were unfortunate not to taste victory over Shelford under 16s on Sunday.

The visitors scored a couple of tries in response to Wisbech's opener to lead 17-7 at half-time during an even first period.

Wisbech appeared rejuvenated after the restart and began to pressurise the visitors, their relentless attacking threat being rewarded with another try.

However, Shelford hit back with a try of their own to win 22-12.

Coach Paul Ludlow said: "I'm proud of our boys for battling to the end. They played well and dug deep against a good side, no more so than our Wisbech Round Table man of the match, Michal Glowacki."


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