Wimbledon 20 v Hove 12
London League 1 South
Match report for November 2
It wasn't pretty but it was a win for Wimbledon, although how the winning margin wasn’t 20 or 30 points is a complete mystery. They demolished the Hove set scrum and dominated the lineout but just couldn’t convert their superiority into points.
Hove didn’t get into Dons’ half until 30 minutes in, and slack tackling let the visitor’s centre Whiting through for a soft try, converted by Davies. In fairness, Hove playing in Wimbledon colours did result in a Wimbledon player providing the scoring pass! In fact it happened on several occasions, and perhaps when club colours clash, both teams should wear a neutral strip.
Immediately after the Hove try, Dons’ wing Josh Charles did what he does best, taking advantage of a lovely run by Neil Hallett, then Jonny Rawlinson, and muscling past a Hove defender before sprinting in at the corner to score. Moments later scrum half Rhys Morgan capped a good all round performance with a classy solo try after a huge Wimbledon scrum on the 22. Hallett’s conversion made it 12-7 which, nearing half time, he extended by three points to put Dons 15-7 ahead.
But just before the interval, Hove mounted their only proper attack of the game and, aided by some non-existent tackling, wing Muir went over in the corner, resulting in an almost unbelievable scoreline of 15-12.
In the second half Wimbledon continued to dominate every area of the game, although basic handling errors and poor decision making (twice failing to exploit a three-to-one overlap, for example) and it was thirty minutes before Charles’s speed and power produced his second try to put the game beyond Hove.
Yet again there were some excellent individual perfomances – the whole front row in particular, plus some good line-breaking runs from centre Ben Sykes and flanker Karl Roche. But it will need better finishing from the team if they are to beat Dover away next week.
November 3, 2013