Penalty Count Cost Wimbledon RFC Against Relegation Rivals

Wimbledon 24 v Broadstreet 30

National League 2 South, December 9

Saturday’s clash between bottom of the table Wimbledon and Broadstreet was important to both clubs as they try climb out of the relegation zone – and it showed, through a fast-flowing, competitive game. But it was a game Wimbledon should have won. The huge penalty count against them, their malfunctioning lineout, and a bit of white line fever, all cost them dear

They got off to a good start, James Doe kicking deep into Broadstreet’s 22 from where he converted a simple penalty. Fifteen minutes later he put over an excellent touchline conversion to put Dons 10-0 up after some strong, aggressive running by the backs ended with a good try for Rhys Morgan. Further scores looked imminent as Dons pressured the opposition goal line for prolonged periods, but simple errors (often resulting in penalties) let Broadstreet off the hook time and again and they worked their way into Dons’ 22 where a neat chip fell into Oniel’s arms and the wing was in for a try in the corner.

In the second half the visitors’ confidence grew as Wimbledon constantly conceded territory through lineouts and penalties, and they took a 10-12 lead as Hodgson converted a well-worked try by fullback Glover. With 50/50 decisions now going Broadstreet’s way too, Hodgson extended their lead to 10-22 through a drop goal and shortly after, a conversion of his own try. Then Wimbledon replacement lock Andy Hore, returning from a lengthy injury absence, got a try back for Dons following some fine pick and drive work by the forwards, and Doe’s conversion made it 17-22 entering the final quarter.

Broadstreet, having played the game through their backs until then, changed tactics and their re-structered pack drove into Don’s 22 from where Hodgson dropped a second goal. His pack then kept Dons pinned in their own 22 and, after numerous attacks were awarded a dubious try, leaving Wimbledon needing two converted tries for the win. They got one, when the forwards powered over the line and Doe converted. With two minutes remaining they drove into Broadstreet’s half but inevitably conceded a penalty and Hodgson’s touch kick ended the match. The losing bonus point was of little consolation to Wimbledon.

They have another chance nest week to claim their first win of the season when they travel to Bristol to face fellow strugglers Old Redcliffians.

December 12, 2017