On Saturday Fakenham travelled to Wymondham’s new £6.2m ground for this London Counties 3 clash. Following last weeks narrow victory over Thurston, Fakenham who once again had a different front row and pack thanks to injuries, children, work and International matches, were under no illusions, this was likely to be a difficult game!
Just how difficult was evidenced right from the kick off when Fakenham knocked on and from the ensuing scrum were immediately under very severe pressure as Wymondham took advantage of the lack of the regular pack. Within two minutes Wymondham had scored, just to the right of the posts following a well-controlled driving maul set up after several foraging forward runs. A successful conversion by Wymondham’s No 10 saw a lead for the home side 7-0.
Eight minutes into the game after more play in the Fakenham half a penalty was awarded to Fakenham for offside at the breakdown. From the resulting lineout Fakenham moved the ball through the backs to the other side of the field and finishing with a try for Fakenham captain, Tom Bane-Young. The conversion was missed leaving the score at 7-5.
Sadly, this was a signal for Wymondham to up their game and four minutes later they scored their 2nd try, under the posts, leaving an easy conversion and a score of 14-5.
Fakenham continued to struggle in both set scrums and mauls and following some poor tackling in midfield, the Wymondham No 8 released the ball to the backs and a try in the corner, again converted by the Wymondham 10, 21-5. The pattern continued without interruption, another 3 minutes saw Wymondham’s 10 receive a pass in midfield, dummy and loop round to score under the posts and with an easy conversion take the score to 28-5
Thirty-three minutes into the game a Wymondham move developed on the left in the Fakenham 22, resulting in another try just to the right of the posts, and with several unmarked Wymondham backs on the outside it indicated just how much the Fakenham defence was being stretched. With another successful conversion the score line was 35-5 with 5 minutes of the 1st half still to go.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Wymondham took advantage of a penalty for
offside at the maul, the resulting lineout seeing the Wymondham 10 weave his way past several defenders and set up their 7 for a try under the posts, again converted to give a somewhat bruising half time score of 42-5
The restart saw more of the same unfortunately for Fakenham with Wymondham scoring another 2 converted tries in the opening 16 minutes to extend the lead to 56-5.
For the next twenty minutes Fakenham competed well and, given the deficit, showed great strength of character, unfortunately with just 4 minutes to go another driving maul from the 15m line saw Wymondham score their 9th try of the game, again converted by their impressive No10 to give a final score of 63-5 (although the referee and Wymondham somehow made it 65-5.
With matches against top of the table Holt and 3rd place Ely still to come before the half way point, Fakenham can only hope for a return of some of their regular players if they want to continue playing at this level. Saturday sees yet another away fixture, this time a cup game at Chelmsford, start 2:00. Hopefully there will be a second team game at home, also with a 2:00 start.