Wimbledon RFC 1XV 35 v Old Reigatians 13
Wimbledon were made to work harder for their victory over an accomplished Old Reigatians side than on most occasions this season.
But although they didn't quite achieve their usual dominance in the set scrum, Rob Tait was imperious in the lineout and the forwards played increasingly efficiently in the loose, both as a unit and individually. This produced a wealth of ball for half-backs Charlie Morgan and Dan Brown, both of whom had excellent games.
The rest of the backs also relished the possession, with new boy Joe Croft and old-hand Dave Rees making a good new centre pairing. The back three, as ever, defended well and their attack delivered two fine tries.
Early Wimbledon pressure was rewarded by a drop goal from Brown, but Reigatians' Hubbard soon equalised when Dons’ backs were caught offside. And moments later they took the lead after a great chip from no.10 Grant put centre Kelly clear to the line.
But with Wimbledon's pack now asserting itself and securing the bulk of possession, several chances went begging through poor handling before Croft broke the defence with the entire pack in support and lock Brett Box touched down for a try. Leon Driscoll's conversion put Dons 10-8 ahead, where it stayed until half time.
Two minutes into the second half fullback Jonny Rawlinson ran in Dons' second try after a lovely break by Rees – and just four minutes later he was in again, this time on the other wing, from a great pass by Driscoll following a storming run by flanker Karl Roche. Driscoll's conversion attempt just faded outside the upright.
Midway through the half Box again finished off good power play by the pack, strolling over unchallenged to score beneath the posts and secure the four-try bonus point. Driscoll made no mistake with the conversion. Then a rare Wimbledon 5m penalty, after the pack had camped on Reigatians’ line, resulted in a try for prop Joey Nanai and another conversion for Driscoll.
But the Old Boys refused to give up and both wings combined to produce the try of the match beneath Dons’ posts. Hubbard’s conversion brought up the final score of 34-15.
A crunch match to look forward to on 28th when Wimbledon travel to third-placed Guildford.
January 27, 2012