Dons Play Well Despite Missing Regulars

Staines 19 v Wimbledon 38

London League 1 South

Match report for March 29

Despite missing of a number of regular 1st-teamers Wimbledon duly overcame relegation-bound Staines 38-19. Not that the Staines players will have noticed the absence of Wimbledon’s regulars, indeed, draftees Charlie Horn, Vinnie McDonald and Jon White each played as though they’d been first choice all season. And there was an impressive return after injury by Jamie Doubleday too.

It was McDonald who opened the scoring after ten minutes, following a lovely break by no.10 Bryan Croke, who had another excellent game. Rob Tait won the first of his many line-outs five minutes later and from the ensuing ruck fullback Tommy Moore scythed through the centre for try number two, which Croke converted. Then Rhys Morgan snapped up a loose ball at a ruck, Doubleday took it on and Jonny Rawlinson finished the move for try number three. Croke’s conversion made it 19-0 at half time.

Under pressure in the first half Dons’ pack really struggled in the second and after a few minutes Staines’ no.8 Maynard touched down a pushover try from a 5m scrum. Stand-off Newberry converted. Wimbledon bounced straight back with a superb jinking run from Moore, then Josh Charles and on to Doubleday for a good score.

Croke’s conversion stretched the lead to 26-7.

But long range kicks from Newberry using the strong wind were now keeping Wimbledon pinned in their own half for long periods and a good cross-kick to Boyd on the wing produced a second try for Staines, well converted by Newberry. Again though Don’s came straight back and some great interplay between forwards and backs set up a nice break by Rawlinson, leading to a second try for McDonald.

With just minutes remaining Dons skipper Chris Lewis rounded off a storming performance with try number six. Then in the final minute Staines concocted their first good back’s move of the match for Maynard to score a consolation try.

Next week Wimbledon are at home to league leaders Chichester, who will be out to avenge their home defeat by Dons back in December.

March 30, 2014