Rugby result: Hertford 7 v Wimbledon 25
London & SE Premier League, 23 November
Wimbledon travelled to Hertford knowing that a victory was needed to maintain their place at the top of the table, they achieved it although a bonus point try wasn’t scored until the referee was playing injury time.
This victory was similar in many respects to the last away victory at Dorking two weeks ago. However, this time the weather conditions were much better, and the team were able to play nearly all of the match in the Hertford half of the pitch.
From the outset the Wimbledon front row of Saunders, Forrester and Bayford were able to gain the upper hand although the referee took some persuading that this was the case, giving both teams the benefit of the doubt with reset scrums.
Wimbledon’s tactical kicking seemed to gain more territory than Hertford’s helping Wimbledon to mount attacks and any lineouts were helped by accurate throws and well organised jumpers, some of the advantage was also gained by less accurate lineouts from the Hertford pack. On 14 minutes following a kick through by scrum half Blane Wilson to the Hertford 5 metre line, Wimbledon lock Jack Cooke was through a gap in the resulting Hertford lineout and plunged over for a try. Unfortunately, outside half Steve Boatman was slightly wide with his conversion attempt but four minutes later a side entry to a maul gave a penalty attempt and Boatman was able to convert to make the score 8 – 0.
Wimbledon now felt they were getting on top and some good interplay from flanker Kain Rix to lock Rob Louw moved the ball to right wing Ollie Kitto and with a yellow card to a Hertford forward, Wimbledon were able to make the advantage count with a try to hooker Josh Forrester. Steve Boatman was on target with the conversion and as half-time approached Wimbledon were ahead 15 – 0.
Around this time an injury to Jack Reville in the centre enforced a change and centre Joe Brosch made his debut, Wimbledon’s third try came just before half-time came after a period of pressure with a determined Hertford defence forcing Wimbledon to switch play across the field from right to left. After accurate passing, finally a gap appeared in front of Boatman and he was able to score on the left near the touchline. His conversion attempt was short but at 20 – 0 to the visitors, the players left the field.
The second half started with prolonged Wimbledon pressure as they sought their fourth try, a driving lineout maul yielded a penalty and the order was a kick to the corner, this was defended by Hertford. A few minutes later Wimbledon yielded a yellow card but with a reorganisation in the pack and wing Kieran Morris getting a taste of a defensive scrum Wimbledon were able to play out the time they were a player short.
A period of play in the centre of the pitch saw that the Hertford backs were alert and a gap was spotted and centre Richard Streets was in for a well taken try under the posts, it was immediately converted by his teammate Kyle Lemon and a score of 20 -7 gave some confidence to Hertford but Wimbledon continued their search for the fourth try and eventually in injury time Forrester got his second in a driving maul. The conversion was missed but a very important victory was secured.
There is no fixture next week so Wimbledon’s next match will be at home on December 7th against second place Guernsey with 2.15 kick-off time.
December 4, 2019