Teddington 10 v Wimbledon RFC 1XV 32
Once again Wimbledon encountered a referee who seemed to believe that their forward dominance was achieved illegally. Unusually it wasn’t the excellent performance of the front row that he blew up for, but for the work of any one of the eight forwards in the rucks and mauls.
By contrast, as he admitted after the game, the referee was generosity itself towards Teddington's backs, who aligned themselves with the Wimbledon scrum's back foot rather than their own.
But despite these little local difficulties, Wimbledon kept their discipline and played some very good rugby, eventually scoring a well-deserved 4th and bonus point try two minutes from time.
Their first try, just two minutes into the game, was a beauty; the pack won a scrum against the head, flanker Chris Lewis used a perfectly–timed pass from no.10 Dan Brown to break through the defence and slip the ball to centre Dave Rees whose quick hands set up hooker Eoin Mullen to barge over the line. Leon Driscoll's conversion neatly bisected the posts.
A try in the corner by Teddington's wing Chris Dixon, after a good forward drive brought the home back into the game, but just three minutes later Don’s prop Joey Nanai extended the lead after a fine break by scrum half Charlie Morgan, justly voted by the opposition captain as joint man-of-the-match.
Driscoll's well-struck conversion made it 14-5. He increased it to 17-5 after another win against the head and a superb 30m drive by the pack had yielded a rare penalty for his team.
Playing up the slope and into the breeze in the second half, Dons further extended their lead after ten minutes when Brown’s drop goal attempt scraped over the bar.
With the penalty count hugely against Dons it was ironic that their next score should come from a penalty try when, not before time, the ref eventually penalised Teddington for offside and the Wimbledon pack forced their opposition to break up before being pushed over the try line.
Teddington wing Wade Foster scored a second try for his side to bring them within 15 points, but with Dons' pack now in total control, a carbon copy of the previous penalty try was on the cards, and finally and deservedly achieved with just minutes to spare.
This was a good team performance from Wimbledon after a three week lay-off and they will want a repeat performance when they take on Old Reigatians at home next week.
January 13, 2012