L 29 - 3 Report attached
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Wymondham slipped further down the table following this defeat to fellow strugglers East London inwhat was a jittery display littered with mistakes from both sides and punctuated by all too frequentblasts of the whistle from an official who, to the chagrin of both sides, seemed determined to haltplay at every opportunity. It was telling that, with ten minutes remaining, the Wymondham coachremarked that there had not been three continuous phases of play by either side throughout theentire match.The Wymondham players were clearly aware of the importance of this match to their chances ofsurviving in London 3 and seemed unduly affected by the occasion and the unfamiliar surroundingswhich none of the team had previously encountered.The tone of the match was set in the first minutes during which East London had most of theterritory and possession and penalties were awarded to one side or the other every time there was abreakdown in play.Eventually, after 14 minutes and following two scrums in their own 22, at which Wymondhamstruggled to contain the large London pack, the visitors cleared their lines, only to concede a scrumin front of their posts when there was a knock on from an East London kick.The referee spotted an infringement at the scrum and the London kicker opened the scoring with aneasy kick. 3-0.After a further period of scrappy play, with 18 minutes played the referee deemed East Londonguilty of not releasing the ball in the tackle and awarded a penalty to Wymondham on the halfwayline to the left of the posts. Wyatt bisected the uprights with a tremendous kick to haul Wymondhamlevel at 3-3.Wymondham had been struggling to play with any coherence with the constant stoppages and itwas no surprise when East London, having been awarded a penalty in front of the posts, opted totake a scrummage from which they gained possession and crashed over for the opening try whichwent unconverted. 8-3 to the home side.Wymondham were showing considerable grit in defence but were still struggling to break out of theirown half and, with 39 minutes on the clock, they conceded yet another penalty which East Londonduly scored to make the score 11-3.Almost immediately, East London pouched another 3 points when a penalty was awarded for Redand Black forwards going off their feet at the ruck. 14-3.The first half seemed interminable and, with the clock showing 48 minutes, Wymondham made ahash of their own line out and a scrappy ball was gratefully fielded by the London number 8 whocrashed over the Wymondham line. 19-3.With no sign of the half-time whistle and 53 minutes gone, Wymondham at last managed a forayinto the London half and, inevitably, were awarded a penalty which Wyatt stroked narrowly outsidethe posts. The break was finally signalled with the score at 19-3.The second half showed little change from the first with both sides continuing to be pulled up forinfringements at every breakdown.With 13 minutes elapsed in the second period, Wymondham at last began to put pressure on EastLondon and, from an excellent drive which was held up just short of the London line, Wymondhamwere awarded yet another penalty and an East London player was sent to the sin bin for 10minutes.A 10 minute period of scrappy play in midfield ensued following which East London welcomedback their man from the sin bin although another was rapidly sent to replace him, presumably for atechnical offence.Wymondham had a chance to make inroads when, with 32 minutes elapsed in the half, the Londonfull back sliced a kick into touch from behind his own line. Unfortunately, the Red and Blacks failedto capitalise and the ball was cleared.With 35 minutes played, Alex Brugge received a yellow card for not rolling away in the tackle.With East London attacking on their right wing, a clever cross-kick found 14 man Wymondham shortof cover and two East London players were on hand to cross the line to make the score 24-3. Theconversion attempt fell short.At the 50 minute mark, with the game well into overtime , East London were awarded a scrum fivemetres out from the Wymondham line and duly completed a push over try which went unconvertedto make the final score 29-3 .Wymondham faced the long journey back from West Ham to Norfolk knowing that time is runningout for them to produce a great escape from relegation but, nonetheless, believing that they havethe skill and resolution within their squad to produce two victories in their last two matches. Thecoaches will want to put this week’s experience behind them as soon as possible and look forwardto the entire team working together in training this week to show the large crowd expected at theirlast home match the rugby of which they are capable.
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Wymondham go into their last three matches knowing that they hold their fate in their own hands having narrowly failed to complete an amazing comeback against South Woodham Ferrers in their last league outing.
Results at the bottom of London 3 NE have conspired against them in recent weeks and Norwich’s narrow loss to fellow strugglers Campion last week did Wymondham no favours.
To add to their woes, the Red and Blacks still have a long list of injuries and will have to draw on all their resources to put out a competitive side.
Stalwart, Nigel Brown, is still not fit following his training ground clash of heads with Pena Sokia but, fortunately, Lee Summers is available again and slots straight into the front row. Kirk Vincent retains his place at lock after a solid display last time out and the evergreen O’Sullivan rejoins the back row alongside coach Turner and the ever dependable Blake.
The backs have a more settled look with Captain Pena Sokia returning at centre having recovered from his training injury and the effective half-back pairing of Anderson-Brown and Wilson looking to create scoring opportunities. David Martin takes his place on the wing and is beginning to rediscover the tremendous form he exhibited before his lengthy break for injury.
The bench is likely to feature some of the older players in the club with Adrian Anema again in the reckoning after his cameo against South Woodham Ferrers.
Wymondham (From): D Canning, T Masters, L Summers, J Wright, D Blake,B O’Sullivan, H Anderson-Brown, D Martin,T Wilson, R Dodd, P Sokia, A Brugger, J Wyatt, A Turner, A Anema, A Wishart, C Miller, S Lyle.