Rugby result: Wimbledon 43 v CS Stags 1863 10
London & SE Premier League, 21 December
Wimbledon were forced to switch this fixture to the ground of Chiswick RFC after the heavy rainfall of recent weeks, they also had a week without a match after the postponement of the fixture at Tunbridge Wells on the previous Saturday.
They showed no signs of rustiness as they gained the upper hand immediately in the first half against CS Stags, scoring six tries before halftime to lead by 36 – 0 at the break. The first came after just seven minutes when left wing Kieran Morris rounded the defence, it was unconverted by fullback James Moffat but the scene was set for the next after eleven minutes when a move involving first outside half Steve Boatman then in turn prop Abu Abdul, centre Jack Reville and wing Luca Rizzo before Reville took the return pass and scored, it was an easier position for Moffat and saw him take the extra points. The third try came six minutes later when Morris took his second try into the corner, again converted by Moffat.
CS Stags had a period of pressure but a scrum penalty to Wimbledon was kicked to the halfway line, they won the lineout and Boatman spotted a gap for Rizzo to take a pass and score under the posts, again converted. The next came on 34 minutes when lock Jack Cooke ploughed over the line with three defenders taken along with him to take the score past 30, this again was unconverted. The half was closed with Boatman spotting another gap and offloading to flanker Kane Alboni to score, again unconverted. A half time score of 36 – 0 was a reflection on a dominant half.
It was a good halftime talk for the Stags as they scored two tries in the second half to Wimbledon’s one but for all than they never built any sustained pressure to narrow the score further. The first try came five minutes in after a multi-phased attack and the ball was eventually grounded, in the gloom of the afternoon the scorer could not be identified but the conversion attempt was missed, the Stags lost their left wing to a yellow card after a break down the right side by Reville and Wimbledon took advantage.
Pressure was put on the Stags line and after patient pick-and-go moves by the forwards, the ball was spread wide and Reville scored his second try and Moffat converted to make the score 43 – 5.
The Stags replied with a team try as the ball was passed through several hands and finally their second try was scored by their inside centre, again unconverted. Wimbledon’s final attack was defended well by the Stags and the ‘home’ side celebrated a 43 – 10 final victory.
Impressive throughout was the crisp well-timed passing from the Wimbledon backs and direct running by the Wimbledon forwards, also noticeable was their ability to spot gaps in the defence and take advantage.
On the adjacent artificial pitch that Chiswick RFC have, Wimbledon 2nd XV played Cinderford United and in a fast match on the perfect surface scored a very good 24 – 24 draw against a team placed higher in the league than themselves.
There is no fixture next week so weather conditions allowing, Wimbledon’s next match will be away at Sevenoaks on Saturday (January 4) with a 2.15pm kick-off time.
January 1, 2020