Rugby Result : Wimbledon 55 - 26 Brighton
Picture: Wimbledon RFC/Facebook
Wimbledon’s performance against a competitive Brighton side bodes well for the season ahead; the pack is strong and very mobile and the backs work really well together in attack. The scoreline doesn’t really reflect their dominance – and they will need to ensure they don’t again gift their opposition three tries. All three came from avoidable errors, but they were more than compensated for by some excellent passages of play and the many standout individual performances….from pretty well all 18 players in fact.
Their first try, after two minutes, set the tone; a kick for a 5m lineout preferred to a very kickable penalty and hooker Harry Scoble broke from the base of a powerful drive to barge over for try no.1, converted by stand-off Ed Morgan. Then a lovely break by fullback Brad Pinkham set in motion the first of a series of attacks that Brighton did well to defend, until they conceded a penalty on their 22 that is, and in a copy of the first try Scoble went over for his second to make it 12-0.
On 20 minutes Brighton entered Dons’ 22 for the first time and a nice break through by their no.10 put them on the scoreboard. Dons hit straight back though with another good drive from a lineout, this time scrum-half Owen Davies deceiving Brighton’s defence to score try no.3, easily converted by Morgan.
With two of the visitor’s pack yellow-carded Dons were rampant and should have been awarded a penalty try but anyway, from Brighton’s dropout the forwards took play upfield from where Morgan cut through for try no.4, his conversion making it 31-5.
Then with half-time fast approaching a couple of poor passes let Brighton back in the game with two breakaway converted tries to produce an unrepresentative score at the interval of 31-19.
In the second half centre Paul Hendry soon extended the lead to 36-19, fending off a strong tackle to score in the corner.
Brighton then looked much more in the game until wing Tom Webster finished off a classy passing sequence beginning on the visitor’s 22, Morgan’s conversion making it 43-19. Almost immediately it was left wing Richard Adeniyi-Jones’ turn to score after a perfect execution of a backs’ training ground move and it was 48-19.
Another strong run by Webster and a fine offload to centre Henry Peuble saw the centre cut through and score beneath the posts, Morgan’s conversion bringing up what really ought to have been the winning scoreline. As it was, lax defence allowed Brighton’s 10 to score again for a bonus point and adding the conversion for the final score.
Earlier on the same pitch Wimbledon 2nd XV overwhelmed Brighton 2nd’s, clearly demonstrating the welcome new strength in depth at the club.
Next week the 1st XV travel away to face Bournemouth for the first time.
NB With so many new faces, most wearing numbers different from those shown in the team sheet, correct identification of some players during the action, proved a bit tricky for your reporter - so apologies to anyone wrongly accredited or not mentioned when they should have been!
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September 12, 2022