Victory For Wimbledon RFC After Close Encounter

Rugby result: Wimbledon 35 v Sidcup 28

London & SE Premier League, 24 November

Matches between Wimbledon and Sidcup tend to be close affairs and this one was no exception. Both teams enjoyed possession and territorial superiority over parts of the game but at the end Wimbledon had the better lineout and scrum and this led to being able to dominate in the areas close to the Sidcup line.

Sidcup opened the scoring with a penalty for Wimbledon not releasing in the tackle, their outside half Sam Evans landing the first of his kicks. A let off for Wimbledon was a penalty against the Sidcup forwards for pulling down in the lineout, but this was followed by a good driving maul but a turnover by Sidcup led to an attack but a knock-on with the line beckoning, another let-off for the home team.

After a spell of frenzied play in the Sidcup 22 metre area and a handling error, finally a penalty was awarded to Wimbledon for Sidcup pulling down in the line-out and on 31 minutes, a driving maul led to Chris York repeating what he had done a week earlier at Brentwood and Wimbledon took the lead for the first time, the conversion came from no.10 Will Taylor and four minutes later the second try came from a burst from centre Gav Tusini who handed on first to Toby White and finally to wing Matt Gilbert who scored.

Dons v Sidcup

Again, the conversion from Taylor was good but not to be outdone, on 37 minutes Sidcup replied with a penalty to stay in touch and rapidly followed it up with a try after a poor kick from defence by Wimbledon was taken by Sidcup no.8 Jon West feeding hooker Hopkins who ran in from 30 metres.  The conversion from Evans was again successful, and the halftime score was Wimbledon 14 – Sidcup 13.

Immediately from the kick-off Wimbledon exerted pressure on the Sidcup line and at first good defence held out the attacks with the ball held up once over the line but the resulting scrum was powerful and blindside flanker Kane Alboni scored under the posts, no problem for Taylor with the conversion to take the score to 21 – 13 but a high tackle by Wimbledon give Evans another penalty from 35 metres to keep Sidcup in touch at 21 – 16.

On 65 minutes more Wimbledon pressure on the Sidcup scrum led to a yellow card for a Sidcup player, Wimbledon chose a scrum as their reward and this led to a pushover try, the bonus point and an easy conversion to go to 28 – 16.  Five minutes later centre Toby White scored and with Taylor’s conversion opened the gap to 35 – 16.

But as before this season, Wimbledon conceded tries at the end of a match which they had worked hard to dominate, first on 77 minutes Sidcup winger Keeley scored wide on the right hand side which was unconverted and finally replacement Ahern scored followed with a conversion by himself to give a result of 35 – 28, which rewarded the Sidcup team’s efforts with a losing bonus point.

Wimbledon can take nothing for granted with the fixtures in early December with first an away match at third placed Sutton and finally at home to fifth placed Hertford to complete the first half of the season.

December 3, 2018