Rugby result: Wimbledon 36 v Tring 12
London & SE Premier League, 11 January
In the end Wimbledon recorded a convincing 36-12 try-bonus point victory over Tring, but the visitors certainly made them work for it. In fact they had the better of much of the first half in terms of possession and territory and deserved to take the lead entering the second quarter with a well-worked try and conversion by their no.10 Mitchell. They could have had more but for the excellent line speed and fiercesome tackling by Wimbledon’s entire back line, which they maintained throughout the match.
Initially Dons’ pack was put under a lot of pressure by a vastly improved scrum over the one outplayed by Wimbledon in their home fixture back in September. Gradually though, Dons achieved scrum parity and their backs began to show they are as good in attack as they are in defence. It was the forwards though who got their first try on the half-hour; a good lineout, a great drive, a second good lineout and a trademark drive over the line for flanker Kane Alboni to touch down. The strong wind that had aided Tring throughout the half denied fullback James Moffat the conversion.
The backs then really came into their own, producing lovely flowing moves – interspersed with some powerful forward drives, including a 40m rampage led by lock Alex Campbell – and on the stroke of half time centre Jack Reville out-sprinted Tring’s defence to finish off a fine exhibition of slick passing and handling by scoring under the posts. Moffat converted and Dons ended the half 12-7 ahead.
Tring again started strongly in the second half, launching a wave of attacks, but their backs just couldn’t find a way through Dons’ defence. 13 minutes in Wimbledon wing Jc Sagoe made his presence felt – not for the first time – by gathering a loose ball in his own half and speeding 25m down the line before offloading to no.10 Steve Boatman who sprinted the final 35m into the corner for try no.3. Minutes later Boatman made an incisive break on half way, passed to his supporting no.8, Chris York, who drew the defence before passing on to flanker Kain Rix who, with three men outside him cantered in for try no.4, converted by Moffat.
Almost immediately Rix got his second, this time a far from easy try, after a nifty break from a maul by scrum-half Blane Wilson, and Moffat again added the two points, taking the score to 31-7. From the re-start wing Kieran Morris made one of his many strong runs down the wing, ending with a Dons’ lineout. Tring managed to clear the ball but another Morris run set in motion a backs’ attack which swept crossfield into the safe arms of Sagoe, who darted in for a sixth try.
The forwards so nearly went over for a seventh, but instead Tring broke out, their backs taking play into Dons’ 22 from where their pack drove over for a good consolation try.
The late injury to centre Paul Hendry put a slight damper on the day but hopefully he’ll quickly be able to resume his successful centre partnership with Jack Reville as Dons continue their battle to top the league, away next week to Bedford Athletic.
January 13, 2020