Old Reigatians 6 v Wimbledon RFC 1XV 23
This was a very good win against previously unbeaten Old Reigatians, particularly since Wimbledon weren't quite able to display the form of the previous week.
A few too many penalties given away (again), some ineffectual kicking away of possession and several turnovers left coach Kemp far from satisfied on Saturday (October 1).
That said, they had the edge on ORs in every part of the game and produced periods of excellent rugby, falling short of a bonus point for a fourth try by a whisker (which would have taken Dons to top of the table) – and preventing the opposition from crossing their line at all.
In a fast and furious opening period, in which both sides created scoring chances, it was Wimbledon wing Leon Driscoll who opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty. From the re-start he set off on a lovely 60m run down the wing before putting the ever-supporting flanker Ed Lewis in the clear to run in the first try. After an essential water break on this baking hot day, a penalty from the old boys no.10, Grant, reduced their 8-0 deficit by three.
Grant struck the post with another attempt immediately after the re-start and Reigatians took the opportunity to pummel Don's goal line before centre Dave Rees intercepted and raced upfield. Another penalty quickly taken by OR’s would have produced a score for them but for a great tackle by wing James Hayes – one which typified Dons’ outstanding aggressive defence.
With the Wimbledon pack now driving their opposition backwards at almost every breakdown, with fine work especially by locks Brett Box and Richard Stewart, their backs began to look threatening. Another penalty allowed Grant to notch up a further three points for the home team 15 minutes into the half, but from then on it was Wimbledon all the way. A Driscoll penalty stretched the lead to six points again before he gathered his own kick ahead and set in motion some powerful rucking by his pack which ended with Stewart touching down.
It was that man Driscoll again ten minutes before time who began a flowing move on the wing, taken on by Kua Palakua and sweetly finished off under the posts by his fellow centre Dave Rees. Driscoll’s conversion brought up the final score of an enthralling game.
It’ll be another tough one next week at home to Guildford, on equal league points.
October 6, 2011