Wimbledon 57 v Bracknell 13
National League 3 London & South East
This was a good performance by Wimbledon - their sixth win of the season and a second try-bonus. In a well-refereed match between two skilled and combative teams Wimbledon’s teamwork gave them the edge over Bracknell in almost every area of the game. The visitors didn’t help their cause by having to play a man down for the second half, after their lock Barry was sent off for stamping, But by then Dons were already 15-3 up and looking very much the stronger side.
Wimbledon captain opened the scoring after just two minutes with a penalty conversion forced on Bracknell by Dons’ forward pressure. Ten minutes in They forced another penalty from which they opted for a 5m lineout, perfectly executed by prop Jesse Muir’s throw-in and Cambell Tait’s catch and delivery, then a powerful drive resulting in flanker Roy Godfrey diving in for the try. The strong blustery wind took Hallett’s kick just wide. His next attempt though, two minutes later, after lock Dylan Flashman had cantered in for a try having made a well-read interception, was right between the posts.
A successful penalty kick from Bracknell’s Hemmings following a yellow card for Dons’ hooker Joe Clapson got the visitors on the scoreboard, but Wimbledon made better use of their penalty after the Bracknell lock saw red: a huge touch kick from Hallett, another excellent lineout, this time taken by no.8 Gary Crowe, pressure on Bracknell’s backs forcing the ball loose and wing Sam Codling pouncing for the third try. Hallett nailed the conversion from the touchline. To round off the half no.10 Bryan Croke made one of his breaks and shipped the ball the ever-present Godfrey to stroll in under the posts, again converted by Hallett to make the half time score 29-3.
Wimbledon’s fifth try, five minutes after the re-start, came from quick ruck ball, a darting run by scrum half Rhys Morgan and a fine finish by wing Kieran Morris. Hallett slotted another conversion from the touchline. The score then moved to 43-3 ten minutes later when Morris added his second try following a lovely break by Codling, who had an excellent all-round game. Hallett again converted from out wide and the next try too, scored by Morgan darting through a melee of forwards to touch down. This took Dons to the 50 point mark.
They could have scored a few more during the final quarter but got a bit over-enthusiastic and the final passes went astray. Instead, a very rare defensive lapse let Bracknell’s fullback Yates in for a well-taken try, quickly followed by a second from no.8 Sullivan when his pack drove over from a 5m lineout.. But Wimbledon had the last word when Hallett notched up another seven points from his own converted try following some great interplay between him and Morris.
After this match Dons should be in good heart as they head off to deepest Essex to take on Westcliff.