Twickenham final the incentive
Wisbech 6, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 18Lowestoft & Yarmouth progressed to the last eight of the EDF National Junior Vase at the expense of league rivals Wisbech in a superbly supported and thoroughly tense encounter.
Wisbech 6, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 18
Lowestoft & Yarmouth progressed to the last eight of the EDF National Junior Vase at the expense of league rivals Wisbech in a superbly supported and thoroughly tense encounter.
They now travel tomorrow for a quarter-final at Harbury near Birmingham and stand just two wins away from a trip to Twickenham for the final.
Wisbech reached this stage of the competition last season and were desperate to go further this year, and it says much for the state of local rugby if the Eastern Counties can produce teams regularly competing on a national level.
Wisbech hatched a plan to nullify L&Y's power game and then try to spin the ball wide, but in the event they were starved of possession to such an extent that they never looked liked making inroads.
A magnificent performance by the L&Y tight five, with Wayne Nixon, Shaun Woodhouse and Jake Titterington dominant in the front row, and Simon Coleman and Russ Wilkinson superb in the lineout, was the ultimate difference between the sides.
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Wisbech's only area of parity was with their fast and feisty back row and it was their good work, and silly errors from L&Y, which led to four long-range penalty attempts in the first half, two of which were taken by Jack Hoyles to give the hosts a six-point lead.
With L&Y playing up the hill into the sun and breeze, territory was difficult to gain, but Scott Nelson's boot took them to a five metre line-out where Coleman set up a driving maul, marshalled well by Thomas and Chris Howe, from which Woodhouse charged over the line. Russ Chapman made the difficult conversion.
Nelson's accurate boot kept L&Y in the Wisbech half for large chunks of the second period and a couple more scoring chances went begging before Chapman intelligently fired a miss-pass from a mass of bodies 10 metres out for Taylor Crisp to round the defence and plunge over in the right hand corner.
Hoyles missed with a couple more long range penalty attempts before Chapman extended the lead to nine points with one of his own. Nelson thumped a massive 40m drop-goal to seal the result.