Honours even as Woodbridge and Wisbech settle for a draw
London 3 Eastern Counties
Woodbridge Warriors 20
Early skirmishes went in Wisbech’s favour, Woodbridge gave away too many penalties and were losing at the set piece, writes Simon Ballard.
Forays into the home 22 were repelled by the boot of fly-half JP Hart and the Warriors countered with a cross-field run but the last pass failed.
Wisbech worked their way methodically back up the pitch, with Iwan Jones and fellow back row team-mates Nathen Goodale and Jason Luffman driving at the home defence assisted by offside penalties.
On the quarter mark, after a period in the Warriors red zone, centre James Napier offloaded to full back Harry Newman, running a great line to score.
Woodbridge responded; full back Luke Wattam put in a darting response nearly exploiting a rare mistake from Newman, Aldis Salavejs had a romp down route one and Angus Clogg missed a penalty chance before another breakaway run from Salavejs generated fast, wide ball to captain Tom Stokes who scored to level the first half.
Wisbech got the better of a series of scrums, forcing the Warriors back to their line where Newman took three points under the posts. Richard Cavill had a great run for Wisbech as the onslaught continued. A 25m maul eventually released flyhalf Jack Malkin who scored after a classic scissors back pass from Scrumhalf Dave Brodie.
Two minutes later it was Woodbridge’s Jono Cooke who was punching a hole in the Wisbech 22 for Billy King and Sam Hallows to assist Hart to score.
As tensions got tighter both sides dropped to 14 and Woodbridge’s Clogg took another penalty to draw level.
Wisbech returned to the home 22, repeatedly battling down the blind side with their large pack before Newman kicked another penalty to pull ahead.
The lead was short-lived as the home side attacked, replacement scrum-half Taff Lloyd nearly pulled off a cross field kick in the Wisbech 22, before Clogg got another penalty.
Wisbech took the best of possession and came close through Napier and Connor Lucas. Hart’s clearances saved the day and even gave Clogg a chance at a further three points but the game ended even – a fair result.