Wimbledon Get Season's First Victory
London Cornish 0 v Wimbledon RFC 1XV 23
For the first 20 minutes it looked as though this would be a very tight game on Saturday (September 17).
Wimbledon had struggled to a slender lead, courtesy of a dropped goal by no.10 Dan Brown and a penalty from wing Leon Driscoll, while London Cornish had missed a golden opportunity to score in the corner.
But then Don's pack began to assert itself, despite losing prop Joey Nanai to a worrying injury after six minutes. Replacement Graeme Symon stepped up the plate and the front row again proved a handful as they and the rest of the pack took control in the final 15 minutes of the half.
It was more of the same in the second half and, with Rob Tait excelling in the lineout, half-backs Charlie Morgan and Dan Brown brought Wimbledon’s lively backs more into the game, even though the torrential rain made handling difficult.
But it was the forwards again, after ten minutes, who set the seal on this game by winning a 5m scrum against the head and flanker Ollie Rupar capped a fine game by diving on the loose ball to score. The try was converted by Driscoll, who added a further well-struck penalty ten minutes later to take the score to 16-0.
With ten minutes remaining Wimbledon closed the game out when the pack won a turnover in their own 22, the backs took the ball all the way upfield to the Cornish 22 where hooker Nathan Kemp linked with flanker Ed Lewis, who powered over for the try. Driscoll's excellent conversion brought up the final score.
This was satisfying performance by Wimbledon and one which demonstrated clearly the value of discipline around the rucks and of not conceding needless penalties. No doubt this will continue into next week's home game against Teddington.
September 22, 2011