Rugby Union: East London’s unbeaten run halted by loss at Wanstead

Action from East London's 49-20 loss at Wanstead in London Three North East (pic: Martin Curry)

Action from East London's 49-20 loss at Wanstead in London Three North East (pic: Martin Curry) - Credit: Archant

London Three North East: Wanstead 49 East London 20

Forced to make six changes from the team that took them to second spot in the London Three North East division, East London lost for the first time since September at local rivals Wanstead.

Their five-match unbeaten run ended with a 49-20 defeat, though the score flattered the home side who ran in three converted tries in the final eight minutes.

The game started badly for the visitors who conceded their first try after two minutes, but levelled the score 10 minutes later when winger Sean Cooper popped up on the left flank to score in the corner, with Alan Ferguson adding the extras.

Wanstead missed a penalty from distance in front of the posts in the 15th minute and were made to pay on the half hour when Ferguson kicked a penalty from the right flank to put East London ahead by three points.

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But when East London second row Matt Lucas was sent to the sin bin a minute later for a high tackle, Wanstead took advantage and scored two converted tries to lead 21-10. Wanstead also had a man yellow carded before Ferguson narrowed the gap with a penalty which the final action of the first half.

The second half started badly for East London when they conceded again in the 43rd minute, but again came back with an individual effort 17 minutes later from Ferguson who skipped three tackles to score to the right of the posts before converting.

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It was then nip and tuck until the final eight minutes when East London, who had fought hard to salvage something from the game, began to tire and Wanstead used their sloping pitch home advantage count with three converted tries.

“It was a shame we had to go into the game with six regular players missing but the team we put out was still a good one,” said East London coach Gary Pearmain.

“We played very well in spells, but missed some vital tackles and that cost us in the end. We will work hard in training and be ready to go again on Saturday with hopefully a few of the missing players back.”

Wanstead’s win saw them change places to go second in the league with 31 points East London drop to fourth on 27, but having played a game less. Harlow remain top with 34 points.

Next up for East London is a home game Upminster this Saturday.

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