Wimbledon RFC 1XV 10 v Chobham 8
Because of the snow and the Christmas and New Year break, neither side had played for nearly a month – and it showed.
This error-strewn match really only spluttered to life in the last five minutes, when the Wimbledon pack unaccountably lost their own put-in to a scrum on their 22, the Chobham backs quickly spread the ball wide and their fullback, Monaghan, touched down for a well-taken try in the corner. Rather against the run of play, this gave the visitors an 8-3 lead with just five minutes remaining.
But Wimbledon responded well, pressurising Chobham into more mistakes and quickly taking play into their 22, where the Dons pack launched a series of drives before finally crossing the line for new boy Jamie Harries to touch down under the posts. Wing Jonny Rawlinson made no mistake with the conversion and Dons sneaked the win.
They ought really to have had the game sewn up long before then; fullback Leon Driscoll missed a simple penalty chance in front of the posts after 15 minutes (although he made up for it with 3 points ten minutes later), then the same player’s normally trusty hands let him down with the try line begging.
Just as unusual was the pass from Rawlinson straight into touch after he’d made an electric run across field and created the space for what looked a certain try.
On the positive side, the pack looked good in the set-scrum and in the lineout, where Messirs Lambert, Morgan and Callanan not only won all their own ball, but also stole or spoiled much of the opposition’s.
The team will hope that the New Year gremlins were exorcised during this outing and that for next week’s encounter away at league leaders Tonbridge Juddians the backs will play to their normal, very much higher standard.
January 12, 2011