Rugby Result: Region 1 South Central -Wimbledon 55 – 31 Bracknell
Picture: Wimbledon RFC/Facebook
February 27, 2023
Wimbledon’s clear victory over a strong and committed Bracknell side put beyond all reasonable doubt their promotion to National League 2 East next season, regardless of the results of their final two games this season. But coach Collin Osborne won’t be best pleased with the way they went off the boil having been 41-5 ahead five minutes into the second half. A touch of complacency perhaps? Although Wimbledon’s three yellow cards didn’t help as Bracknell were quick to exploit their extra man for thirty minutes, adding 26 more points before full time.
The game opened as so often this season with a Wimbledon try after five minutes, a nice inside pass setting wing Ollie Kitto off to score his first of three on the day, further stretching his lead as the league’s top try scorer. Minutes later Zane Dallinger scored Dons’ second after two misspasses let fullback Ally Duddell create the space for his no.8 to charge over the goal line, stand-off Ed Morgan adding the extras. Soon though Bracknell got a penalty, kicked for a 5m lineout from which they swung the ball wide then back again for their unmarked hooker Bradley to score in the corner.
Then a great sequence of quick ruck ball sent speedily out by scrum half Rhys Morgan to any one of his pack lurking nearby; they, with support, would barge into the opposition and make five or ten metres every time. The sequence ended just short of Bracknell’s line and the pack powered over for flanker Connor Pearce to touch down. Morgan’s conversion made it 19-5. Next a lovely run by Dons’ hooker Jake Farnworth led to Dallinger running in his second of the day. His pass to Morgan (R) and onto Duddell then put Kitto clear to speed in for his second too. And just before half time a great shove bay the pack led to Dallinger touching down for his hat-trick.
Starting the second half 34-5 up a lovely kick from Morgan (E) in midfield to Kitto on the wing set the speedster on the way to bring up the day’s second hat-trick. It was then that Dons’ lost the plot a bit; a strong run from Bracknell’s no. Hodgson produced their second try, converted by Radford, as was the next, scored by wing Boarer. Then a quickly-taken Bracknell penalty caught Dons napping and Scott’s try made it 41-24.
A lovely solo effort by Ed Morgan involving three dummy passes, a try and conversion then extended Don’s lead to 48-24. Then wing Max Lufkin finished off a flowing backs move with a fine try, again converted by Morgan and it was 55-24. Bracknell wouldn’t give up though and just before the whistle scored another good try by Hodgson and converted by Radford to wind up an intriguing game.
Although not mathematically sure of promotion, only a series of freak results could deny the Dons at this stage with just one point need from their final two games and even if they fail to obtain it, second placed Camberley would need bonus point wins from their remaining three matches.
Wimbledon have a break next week before travelling away to Banbury who did them a huge favour on Saturday by beating Camberley.
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