Boss certain Wisbech can avoid London North-East Division Three relegation
Boss Cliff Humphreys is confident relegation-threatened Wisbech can preserve their London North-East Division Three status this season.
Wisbech are just one place and two points above the drop zone with eight games to go. But five of those matches are on their own turf, including tomorrow's visit of second-placed Old Cooperians, leaving the Harecroft Road club's manager certain they can stay out of trouble.
He said: 'Saturday's loss at Upminster finds us in a relegation battle. However, five of those games are at home. I am confident we will avoid the drop. We do need all players to show commitment to the cause and to make themselves available and to train though.'
The Cambridgeshire outfit produced a much-improved performance during their 24-5 loss at Upminster on Saturday with the forwards especially excelling.
The final scoreline flattered the home side as the match statistics confirmed that the visitors had around 65pc of play. However, they unfortunately fell foul of a number of contentious refereeing decisions.
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The penalty count disrupted Wisbech's game plan and when after 20 minutes Greg Brownlow was sin binned for not rolling away, the home side scored a converted try. Shortly after, and on the attack, Jack Malkin was also sent to the bin – adjudged to having spear tackled an Upminster player.
Humphreys commented: 'It appeared to be a harsh decision. The home player seemed to jump into the challenge as Jack went to tackle him and his momentum meant that his feet went above his head and he landed on his shoulder.'
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Down to 13, the away team raised their spirits and prevented the home side from taking advantage of the extra numbers. However, on half time Upminster did break through a again full-strength visitors' defence to score.
Wisbech were still in the game and within minutes of the restart Kerrie McMullen drove over the line to score from close in. But as the half drew to a close, Upminster scored further tries, both of which came from penalties, to move up to seventh – two places above their opponents.
Coach Leonard Veenendaal added: 'I was happy with the overall commitment of the squad.
'Credit must go to Jack Malkin who played his first game at fly half. The improvement in the pack is as a result of their commitment to training unfortunately our backs do not train together and the lack of cohesion in the backs was our downfall.'