London 3NE: Wymondham 17, Wanstead 18
16:16 02 April 2012
A heart-breaking last gasp defeat left Wymondham needing maximum points from their final day clash at promotion-chasing Stowmarket in order to avoid relegation.
Even if they achieve that feat, they will need results elsewhere in London 3NE to go their way if they are to stay up.
Saturday’s match started well for Wymondham as they took the lead with only seven minutes gone. Delightful interplay between the two Fijian centres, Simo and Pena Sokia, saw Simo dot down under the posts for a try converted by James Wyatt.
Having failed to cross the home line, when awarded a another penalty at a set scrum on the Wymondham 22 metre line, Wanstead opted to put points on the board and slotted it between the posts to make it 7-3.
With around half an hour played, Wymondham put intense pressure on the Wanstead line forcing the Herons to concede a series of penalties. Eventually, captain Sokia called on Wyatt to slot another penalty and extend the Wymondham lead to 10-3.
Following a spell of Wanstead pressure, their forwards drove on and crashed over the line on the left, with the conversion missed to make it 10-8 to Wymondham at half-time.
After a spell of Wymondham pressure in the second half, they missed a gilt-edged opportunity to add to the score when, from a scrum, the ball was shipped to Sokia who dropped it over the try line.
Wanstead lost a man to the sin bin and Wymondham appeared to have sealed victory when, with 15 minutes to go, Josh Wright drew the defence and fed Alex Brugger who scored under the posts. Wyatt converted to make it 17-8 to the home side.
The joy was to be short-lived however as Wanstead set up a series of forward drives, culminating in a converted try to leave the game on a knife edge at 17-15.
With time up, the visitors won a penalty for offside on the Wymondham 22-metre line and the Wanstead kicker struck the ball cleanly between the posts to clinch the victory.