Swaffham 34 Wisbech 20
Swaffham RUFC returned to North Pickenham Road following last week’s win away against Woodbridge.
This week’s opposition were Wisbech who having been relegated last season should have been one of the teams to watch this year but, like the home team, have had an indifferent start to their campaign and were looking for a win.
Swaffham kicked off and immediately put themselves under pressure as the ball failed to travel 10 metres and Wisbech were awarded a scrum. This gave them a good platform in the middle of the pitch from where they pushed on and recycled possession well.
Swaffham were forced into giving away a penalty in front of the posts which Wisbech duly kicked.
This seemed like a wake up call for the home side and they started to play with some purpose. Good carries from the pack and swift recycling led to the backs getting the ball at pace. The ball hit every player in the line before the final pass saw Jordan Mustard cross the line for the first try of the game. Joe Milligan added the conversion.
The second try came from strong defence. Wisbech had a line out five metres out from their line and the home pack made a mess of Wisbech’s attempted clearance.
Milligan harried the Wisbech player behind their line and as he attempted to pass Paddy Callaby latched onto the ball and scored in the corner.
Milligan added the conversion from the right hand touch line.
Swaffham’s tails were up now and again the backs came to the fore with Ed Jones on the end of a well constructed move to swan dive under the posts again.
Milligan added the extras.
By this time Daniel Spencer was picking the moves off at will with an excellent supply of quick ball from the forwards. The pack were dominant in scrums and at the breakdown they were either turning the ball over or ensuring that Wisbech didn’t get quick ball. The next try secured the bonus point and went to Mustard this time from a great line off Spencer.
The second half saw Swaffham take their foot off the gas in attack with only the one try from Adam Potter following a line break from Jon Clarke and an unselfish pass to beat the full back.
Wisbech came back with a couple of tries towards the end of the game and made the most of the 10 minutes they had an extra player as Jon Clarke was sent to the bin for a late tackle.
However the last word fell to Swaffham with a penalty as the clock ticked down.
Captain Marc Lockwood elected to take two points and ensure Wisbech couldn’t get close to bonus point range.
After a few tough weeks a win over Wisbech with a bonus point was a welcome result.
It was the first win against Wisbech since 1997.
There are areas to work on, the line out stuttered at times, kicks to touch went begging but the scrum was outstanding, players did their jobs in tackle and breakdown outstandingly well and the back line has the pace and skill to deliver tries.
Man of the Match was Daniel Spencer for a well controlled game and organising both attack and defence.