Much improved performance not enough to prevent another defeat for Wanderers

Andy Letts carries for Wanderers

By Colin Whiteley

Thanet Wanderers RUFC 7 – 33 Bromley RFC

Danny Clement and Michael Whitehead returned to the front row in an otherwise unchanged pack. There were starts for Lewis Downer and Louic Vroninks who replaced Louis Marshall and Marius Thompson who were injured last Saturday. Bromley had impressed in the away fixture which they won 47-18 and are presently fifth in the League table.

Wanderers kicked off down the slope on a chilly, grey afternoon and monopolised possession in the opening minutes. Thanet were not playing like a bottom of the tableside and it was somewhat against the run of play when, after ten minutes, the visitors opened the scoring with an unconverted try.

Wanderers lost opportunities when a line-out was not straight and a penalty failed to find touch. Bromley were testing the home defence. On 25 minutes a missed clearance gave the visitors possession which led to a converted try and opened a 12-0 lead. Bromley’s outside half looked to be on his way for a further try before he was pulled down by his opposite number, Charlie Panteli, to stop an almost certain try. There was a collective determination about Wanderers in the fifteen minutes before half time that kept their line intact and ensured that they trailed by just twelve points at half time.

Lewis Downer tackles

Early in the second half, Bromley took a scrum rather than kick a penalty and from the resultant drive a player emerged and crossed unchallenged for a converted try. Wanderers responded with a spirited, forward led, attack that ended with a third try of the season for Mike Whitehead.

Panteli converted well to cut the visitors’ lead to 19-7 after seven second half minutes. There was an intriguing contest as both sides battled for the next score and a yellow card was shown to Bromley’s number seven.

Replacement centre, Henry Mirams, returned after injury into a reorganised backline as Vroninks took a break.  Max Rogers, who has been playing well in the centre for Wanderers, was now shown yellow for a high tackle. Bromley were pushing hard for their try bonus point and they eventually crossed wide left and added an excellent conversion to lead 26-7. A loose ball bounced nicely for the visitors who crossed for a fifth try to extend their lead to 33-7.

Captain Sam Taylor carries

Wanderers fought hard during the remaining ten minutes but could not add to their score before  referee, Oliver Smith, sounded full time, after a good shift from the young official.

Wanderers’ coaches and supporters will have been pleased to see this much more organised and determined performance from their side. There were still occasional errors and areas that need to be addressed but with a side containing so much developing talent, medium term prospects remain good.

Next Saturday, 20th January, bottom placed Thanet will travel to take on the side above them, Cranbrook. The sides are separated by just one in points difference and Wanderers won the reverse fixture 39-31 but Cranbrook’s better performances have been at home. Please support the Wanderers, kick off is at 2PM.