Sat 27
1st XV
Guildford 28 – 27 Wimbledon

Guildford 28 – 27 Wimbledon

By Martin Rogers
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London SE Premier League. 27.10.18

London & SE Premier League. 27.10.18

Losing lock Jack Cooke to injury during the pre-match warm-up and hooker Bradley
Ugodulunwe after just 15 minutes was not an auspicious start for Wimbledon. But
while the enforced changes clearly disrupted the pack they couldn’t really account for
the poor passing and handling errors that constantly gave hard-won possession back to
a well-drilled Guildford side, who took full advantage of their visitor’s generosity.
Having lost possession after a fine drive from the forwards, Wimbledon immediately
found themselves 3 points down when Jordan slotted an easy conversion five minutes
into the game. Lock Rob Louw powered over for a try ten minutes later after a rare
piece of slick handling in the backs, and a fine conversion by fullback Freddie Hooper
gave Dons a 3-7 lead. That lead however lasted just three minutes when a 5m lineout
from a penalty by Wimbledon gave Guildford the platform to launch a wave of
attacks on Don’s line, before a long miss-pass gave Jordan a clear run-in and it was
Having won a penalty at the first scrum, 20 minutes in, subsequent scrums proved
tougher and the game see-sawed between the two 25’s until, shortly before half time,
Hooper put a huge kick to 5m from Guildford’s line, Louw won the lineout, the pack
drove forward and prop Jordan Saunders peeled off to score, Hooper again
converting. He couldn’t manage a third conversion though, after a similar move
moments later ended with no. 8 Kane Alboni touching down. Dons still ended the half
with a slightly flattering 8-19 lead.
Guildford cut the lead to 13-18 ten minutes after the re-start having been gifted the
ball following yet another fine forward drive from a lineout, where Louw reigned
supreme throughout the match. Another good Dons drive on 25 minutes somehow
ended with the ball in Guildford’s hands and lock Nick Brown was bundled over to
take the score to 18-19. Against the run play Hooper extended Don’s lead to 18-22
with a well-struck penalty, then Wimbledon produced their best (and almost the only)
move of the game; a Louw lineout win, a half-break by replacement centre Gav
Tusani, quick ruck ball, a strong run and finely-timed pass from flanker Shawn
Renwick, and Hooper dived in at the corner.
At 18-27 Dons looked to have escaped with another 5 point win, but in the last five
minutes managed to concede a penalty - albeit an unlucky one – bang in front, and
then, on the stroke of time, a try under the posts for lock Brown who burst through
from a ruck 10m out, and Kyle Brown easily kicked the match-winning conversion. It
was no more than they deserved.
Whilst Wimbledon at least left with a consolation two points, they’ll know it should
have been four, if not five. Hopefully they can make amends next week at home to

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Match details

Match date

Sat 27, Oct 2018




London & SE Premier

League position