Colchester 18 v Wimbledon 34
National League 3 South
Arriving at Colchester – one from bottom in the league – Wimbledon were confident of a victory, and very possibly a try-bonus point as well. But with just 14 minutes of the match remaining the home team were 18-17 ahead, and deservedly so too.
It all started well enough for Dons, with centre Jack Reville finishing off a flowing backs move with a fine try in the corner. Then prop Phil Viane got a second from a powerful forward drive after Campbell Tait had delivered good ball from a 5m lineout. Bryan Croke’s successful conversion of both put them 0-14 up after only ten minutes. But the rest of the half and a good chunk of the second belonged to Colchester. Despite Wimbledon being in total charge of the set scrum the home team’s speed to the breakdown and determination once there denied Dons all but scraps of possession. And to make matters worse their normal rock-solid defence became decidedly porous.
Continual pressure on Dons’ line brought Colchester’s first score 15 minutes in through a penalty conversion by Crozier. Ten minutes later a wave of attacks ultimately yielded them a try in the corner by Cutbush. A further ten minutes on and full back Barton was in for their second try after a long mis-pass had put him clear on the wing, and Crozier’s conversion gave them a 15-14 lead which they took to half time.
But this Wimbledon squad is a tough one to beat and they slowly fought their way back into the game, at last winning some decent possession throughout the final quarter, when two penalties by Croke against one from Colchester’s Higgins put them back ahead at 18-20. They cemented this hard-won win with another pushover from a 5m lineou,t touched down by lock Shawn Renwick, who then claimed a second in the dying moments of the match in almost a repeat of the first. Croke’s conversion of both extended the winning score to 18-34 - a slightly flattering, but nonetheless, four-try bonus point victory.
Wimbledon’s next match is in two weeks, when they are at home to Chichester…always a feisty affair!