Another Victory For League Leaders Wimbledon RFC

Rugby result: Tring 18 v Wimbledon 44

London & SE Premier League, 28 September

Not many teams visit Tring and put 44 points on them whilst conceding just 18, but Wimbledon did, to make it four try-bonus wins out of four and maintain their position at the top of the table.

And this was without three injury enforced changes from last week – but flanker Jack Flanagan and wings Kieran Morris and Harry Tabb proving more than adequate replacements. The only downsider was a nasty looking leg injury to key front rower Bertie Haskins.

Playing up the slope and into a strong wind it was just ten minutes before Dons pack proved their dominance and slick handling by the backs saw Morris sprint over for try. He got a second three minutes later after a turnover in Dons’ own 22 launched a second flowing move, with fullback making the extra man in the backs and delivering the perfect final pass.

Good breaks by centre Paul Herndry and scrum half Blane Wilson both from their 22 almost yielded more tries but Tring’s defence stood firm, It was 25 minutes in Flanagan rounded off some powerful scrimmaging and drives by the pack with try no.3. The strong wind denied fly-half Steve Boatman all three conversions.

The same wind took Tring deep into Dons’ half and after numerous attacks, centre Jake Ollie pierced the defence to score beneath the posts and add the simple conversion. With half time approaching Tring took advantage of a couple of penalties awarded to them for Wimbledon infringements in the rucks and Ollie added six more points for the home team to take them to 13-15.

Three minutes after the re-start Dons’ two point lead extended to seven when prop Jordan Saunders broke from a maul after Morris had been held up over the line and taking two defenders with him barged over to score. Boatman added the extra two points with ease.

Wimbledon’s excellent lineout, with lock Jack Cooke  - who had a fine all-round match – being the main target, enabled them to keep Tring pinned in their own half and, entering the final quarter, the pack drove a full 20m deep into the 22 and Saunders again broke and bulldozed over for his second try, Boatman’s conversion making it 13-29 before his replacement James Moffat added three more from a well-struck penalty. He converted a more difficult chance minutes later after Morris jinked past two defenders to run in his third try of the day and stretch the lead to 13-39. Tring wouldn’t just roll over though and forced Dons into errors from one of which Ollie went clear to score a deserved consolation try.

But to get even, a huge downfield kick by Moffat two minutes from time was snatched from Tring’s attempt to run the ball out and Tabb celebrated his welcome return to the team after a long injury absence by pouncing on the loose ball for Dons’ seventh and final try, winding up another good team performance.

October 2, 2019

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