L&Y rugby team aiming high
Lowestoft and Yarmouth 32, Wisbech 0LOWESTOFT and Yarmouth showed their potential title credentials by completely overwhelming their previously unbeaten Fenland rivals in a one-sided affair at Gunton Park.
Lowestoft and Yarmouth 32, Wisbech 0
LOWESTOFT and Yarmouth showed their potential title credentials by completely overwhelming their previously unbeaten Fenland rivals in a one-sided affair at Gunton Park.
It leaves L&Y top of Eastern Counties One with three wins from three matches.
Wisbech are title contenders themselves and did complain of having five unavailabilities, but they were never near to scoring against a home team who dominated every phase of the game.
In the first half L&Y had the wind advantage and from the kick off they camped in the Wisbech 22. Shortly after hooker Chris Howe was bundled into touch by the right hand corner flag. A scrum 10 metres out gave centre Scott Nelson the chance to dummy the defence and go over.
Fly half Byron Clarke missed the conversion but added a penalty five minutes later.
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L&Y's strong front row of Wayne Nixon, Howe and Graeme Newton had Wisbech struggling all day and their ability to prevent Wisbech collapsing the maul was a constant weapon.
Simon Coleman had a masterful game in the line-out alongside Russ Wilkinson and the experience and physical style of Ben McElroy, Marc Thomas and Shaun Woodhouse eclipsed Wisbech's back row, probably their only hope of attack.
Playing with the wind L&Y added another try after quick ball from a Woodhouse charge allowed Russ Chapman to feed Nelson, who deftly chipped through for Tom Smith to win the race to touch down.
Towards the end of the half, a poor Wisbech clearance kick allowed Tristan Taylor-Crisp to field the ball which was sent from one side of the pitch to the other through Smith, Clarke and Nelson for opposite winger Matt Howell to open up and finish off around the grasping cover.
Largely through L&Y's mistakes, Wisbech came back into the game in the third quarter but never troubled the line, even when centre Kris Nelson was binned for failing to roll away from the tackled player.
Cleverly L&Y tightened up their game in his absence, never allowing the visitors a sniff of a chance, and on his return L&Y then finished with a flourish.
A Thomas carry in front of the Wisbech posts was unloaded to Scott Nelson to barge his way under the sticks.
Then, following the introduction of substitutes Josh Fewkes, Lewis Davey and Matt Jary, another encampment in the left side of the Wisbech 22 enabled Fewkes, Clarke and Scott Nelson to send long passes right. This allowed Smith to cruise in from fullback, ease open a gap by dummying to Jary, and drift through to score. Clarke converted the last two scores to seal the win.
L&Y's player coach and Tredwell Development man-of-the-match Scott Nelson was most pleased with the fact L&Y are yet to even concede a try in the league, a record they hope remains after their visit to Thurston.
Nixon in particular had a massive game at prop, and with fellow front rower Newton also playing well, the decision when to play injured captain Danny Simmons after his impending recovery is going to be difficult.
Coleman had a majestic game in the line-out, but needs to impose his strength around the park more often if he is to hold his place against promising youngster Zak Baxter and the experienced Mark Pack.
Woodhouse played his first game in five weeks and once he shakes off his rustiness and the effects of a nasty arm injury.
His partnership with Thomas will be decisive to the team's promotion hopes.
Similarly, elsewhere the only problems are who to select from a strong squad.
The wing positions are being hotly contested, and Chapman is just holding off last season's regular choice at scrum half Fewkes, who, if he can work hard, is too talented a player to leave on the sideline.
There are definite signs that if this rapidly-gelling squad can remain focused, not become complacent or over-confident, and treat each game as it comes, then their dreams of London Division rugby are very possible.