Wimbledon make the best possible start to the new Division One South campaign
Wimbledon head coach James Ogilvy-Bull wants promotion from London Division One South this season, and his charges got off to the best possible start with a 28-12 win at Havant on Saturday.
The result looks even better given that half the 18-man Wimbledon squad were making their first appearance for the club.
It took a while though for the old guard to gel with the new, and there was a distinct lack of urgency and physicality for the first 15 minutes.
The result was almost total possession for Havant and they took full advantage with the opening try and conversion.
Then Wimbledon’s fullback Tommy Moore turned the game on its head with a scything run from his own 22 into the opposition’s, where a perfectly timed pass put Dons’ wing Peter Cross in for a try.
A now galvanised Wimbledon soon scored their second try when number eight Gary Crowe touched down from a fine forward drive following a 5m lineout.
Stand-off Tom Carter missed both conversions, but made amends moments later with a good penalty conversion to put Dons 13-7 ahead.
Another fine Moore break with five minutes of the half remaining resulted in an easy try for the well-positioned Jack Fishwick, contributing to his strong debut performance as captain.
But on the stroke of half time, a couple of rare defensive errors by the Wimbledon backs let Havant in for a well-taken try.
It was to be the home team’s last score though, as Wimbledon had the upper hand throughout the second half.
With hooker Bruce Skupje’s throwing-in and Crowe’s jumping securing lineout possession, and prop Ben Davies doubling as a fourth back row player, Havant could find no answer to their visitor’s control of the game.
During what became a rather disjointed half, plagued with numerous stoppages for injuries and a couple of slightly iffy yellow cards, Cross scored another excellent try after a quickly taken penalty by scrum-half Charlie Morgan and then in the final quarter of the game Carter rounded off a good match with a try in the corner after fine interplay between cross and centre Aaron Hopkins.
Next week Wimbledon have their first home game of the season, against old rivals Chobham.
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