Rugby result: Wimbledon 52 v Guildford 7
London & SE Premier League, 26 October
One place from the foot of the Premier League, with just one win from eight matches, Guildford are having as tough time this season owing to a number of last year’s team retiring or moving on and having to replace them with young, inexperienced players.
Not that it showed for the first quarter of this match. From the kick-off Wimbledon lost possession, then gave away a free kick 5m from their goal line, taken quickly by flanker Joe Gardner who pounced in for a try, converted by Ieuan Jones.
It might have been a touch of complacency by Wimbledon, or the wet, slippery ball, or maybe just one of those days, but whatever the cause they simply couldn’t get any momentum. Nor could they get and keep much possession and only a fine tackle by wing Alex Kane prevented a second Guildford try.
But almost normal service was resumed after 20 minutes when Dons’ pack clicked into gear, dominating the set piece and setting up powerful driving mauls from one of which no.8 Chris York got Wimbledon on the scoreboard.
Stand-off James Moffat carried on where he left off last week, putting over the conversion from out wide and into a blustery wind. He repeated the feat ten minutes later after flanker Jack Flanagan rounded off another great drive by the pack, Wimbledon’s back line though lacked its usual fluency and couldn’t make full use of the ball provided by their pack (the best two line breaks of the half coming not from the three-quarters but from flanker Kain Rix), but although the half-time score showed Dons only 14-7 ahead, there was a strong sense that the floodgates would open soon….which they did.
Five minutes into the second half the pack got their third try, Flanagan again adding the finishing touch. Further tries from the pack followed on 10, 15, and 20 minutes, scored by lock Alex Campbell, skipper Josh Bayford and replacement hooker Dave Wayman respectively, all converted by Moffat to take the score to 40-7.
At last though, the backs did what they normally do so well, producing a classic passing movement quickly down to line to Jack Reville on the wing who raced in to score in the corner.
For once Moffat missed, but he got the next, five minutes before full time after York hand bundled over for his second try, to make the final score a healthy 52-7, increasing the points difference over second-placed Rochford Hundred.
Wimbledon next play away to Dorking on November 9.
November 2, 2019