Wisbech Twickers dream shattered by Castleford
By ADAM LAZZARI EDF JUNIOR VASE QUARTER-FINAL Wisbech 12 Castleford 29 WISBECH Rugby Club s Twickenham dreams ended with a sound defeat. A crowd of more than 400 turned up at Harecroft Road to watch the home side play at this stage of the competition for
By ADAM LAZZARI
EDF JUNIOR VASE QUARTER-FINAL
Wisbech 12 Castleford 29
WISBECH Rugby Club's Twickenham dreams ended with a sound defeat.
A crowd of more than 400 turned up at Harecroft Road to watch the home side play at this stage of the competition for the first time in their history.
But they failed to recover from a disastrous opening 15 minutes which saw them concede three tries and were outmuscled by the men from Yorkshire.
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Castleford pulverised Wisbech in the early stages and continued to charge the ball forward with rucks and mauls.
After five minutes Castleford won their line-out in the Wisbech 22 and charged over the try line for a 5-0 lead.
The conversion attempt was successful.
Castelford used the same tactic to score two more tries, but the second conversion attempt was missed and they were 19-0 ahead after 15 minutes.
James Napier lifted the home crowd with a 50-yard run from deep in his own half but the winger was stopped by a thunderous tackle.
Wisbech asserted pressure in the last 10 minutes of the half and scored a stunning try five minutes before the interval.
Rudi Van de Merwe dodged two tackles and gained 10 yards before handing off to full-back Mark Laws, who cut in from the right touchline before passing to winger Shane Vickers to finish in the corner.
Laws spurned the conversion and the half ended with Castleford on the attack.
Brutal tackling halted Wisbech's running game at the start of the second half and Castleford's full-back and wingers flawlessly dealt with kicks that came their way.
A drop goal put the visitors 22-5 up after 59 minutes.
A converted try after a scrum gave Castleford a 29-5 lead with 13 minutes remaining.
In the 70th minute Wisbech forward Jacques Steynberg harrowed down the Castleford backs to secure a turnover deep in opposition territory before handing off to Sol Prestidge to bundle over Wisbech's second try.
Laws kicked the conversion, but it was too little, too late.
Wisbech head coach Richard Horne said: "Castleford were excellent today and their No. 10 controlled the game.
"This was not a good performance from us. It took us too long to get going and there was a lot of bad decision making.
"The lads' efforts have been superb to make history by reaching this stage of the competition for the first time and the support we had today was superb, it's just a shame we weren't at our best.
"But the players can leave with their heads held high as it's been a remarkable achievement for us to get here.
"We just need to make sure we bounce back and concentrate on the league.