Wimbledon RFC Survive Unpredictable Second Half

Rugby result: Sidcup 23 v Wimbledon 44

London & SE Premier League, 12 October

At halftime with Wimbledon leading 28 – 9 and a try bonus point already earned none of the events of the second half could have been predicted.

This season so far in five matches Wimbledon have been awarded less than three yellow cards in total, but in a bizarre second half Wimbledon were left playing with just 12 players for about five minutes with six forwards and even then, were defending Sidcup’s constant attacks without conceding points.

In one last effort towards the end they were able to drive back Sidcup’s pick-and-go thrusts to force play up to the 22 metre line.

Once out of the immediate area near the try line, attacks could be resumed once the three players returned to the pitch.

Before this the referee decided that two of the cards were to be fully penalized by penalty tries, giving Sidcup a glimpse of a victory at 31 – 23. But their own concession of a penalty in the midfield just before the end gave Wimbledon’s outside half James Moffat a long but straight kick to extend the lead, with time running out, he made no mistake to extend the lead to eleven points at the close of a 50 minute-long half.

The video record will allow the coaches and referee the chance to scrutinise the reasons for the yellow cards, but to the credit of the players of both sides, the discipline the match was played in held throughout to the end.

The first half was a fine example of rugby with both teams running hard but Wimbledon able to break the Sidcup defence in the 14th minute when fullback Freddie Hooper put wing Kieran Morris away on a 35 metre run to the left hand corner, Moffat kicking the conversion.

Five minutes later the second try came when an interception by no. 8 Chris York, allowed him to pass to hooker Josh Forrester in close support, and finally to flanker Kain Rix crossing the line, again Moffat converted. Sidcup’s outside half Josh Twyford kicked their third penalty, but soon afterwards Wimbledon were attacking with Rix getting his second try after a scrum near the Sidcup posts, outside half Moffat taking the conversion to 21 – 9.

Just before half time a Sidcup scrum near the posts was disrupted, a kick ahead was chased and right wing Ollie Kitto was able to score the bonus try under the posts.  No problem with the conversion for Moffat to make the score 28 – 9.

After 54 minutes Moffat was able to take Wimbledon’s first score of the second half after a Sidcup scrum was penalized, but for the next quarter of the match no scores were made until the yellow cards led to penalty tries and a tense period in the match.

Thankfully the outcome was not altered by these decisions. Positives for Wimbledon were some of this season’s new players settling into the team and other players returning from unavailability, and especially a victory away from home with a bonus point.

October 24, 2019

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