Tonbridge Juddians 26 v Wimbledon 6
National League 3 London & South East
When one pack weighs at least 100kg more than the other it’s clearly going to be a tough task for the latter to win much scrum ball – and so it proved on Saturday when Wimbledon won just three scrums in the entire game against Tonbridge Juddians, and then when they were sliding back through mud at a rate of knots. Their task was made even harder by TJ’s speed to the breakdown and their ability to provide quick ball.
But despite Wimbledon’s significant height disadvantage too, Dons did manage to secure some set piece through their lineout thanks to Jesse Muir’s accurate throwing in and great work by Campebell Tait and Gary Crowe, plus their lifters.
They could have done without scrum half Rhys Morgan limping off after ten minutes, but at least they have the luxury of a second top rate no.9 in the squad, one Charlie Morgan who, ignoring his yellow card late in the game, acquitted himself well behind a retreating pack.
But although TJ enjoyed a wealth of possession and territory Wimbledon’s fierce determination and excellent defence not only kept them in the game, but even gave them the lead after half an hour, courtesy of an excellent penalty conversion by Neil Hallett. They would have carried the lead to half time had it not been for a TJ converted try following a flukey interception during a promising Wimbledon attack.
From the re-start the TJ pack powered to within 5m of Dons’ line, sucked in the defence and put their wing in for a try, well converted from touch by no.10 Cooper. Dons fought back and launched several attacks in the TJ half, earning a penalty and another 3 points from Hallett’s boot. But defending against constant TJ pressure eventually took its toll and in the closing period of the game the TJ pack piled it on and were rewarded with two tries, the second converted.
The 26-6 scoreline was certainly no disgrace against the league leaders really on their game.