Old Wimbledonians shock leaders
Old Wimbledonians beat league leaders London Exiles 31-20 on Saturday in one of their best performances in the past few seasons.
Overall, the match was closer than the 11-point margin would suggest and boiled down to a contest between the home back-line and the visitors rolling maul.
Each time the London Exiles came to within 20 yards of the Wimbledonian line they looked dangerous, and in fact scored from four push overs or pick and drives.
However, on the other hand the Old Boys always looked dangerous with ball in hand, especially from the frequent incursions into the line of Chris Harper at full back.
Furthermore, skipper Richard Travers had his best game of the season in the centre, setting an example in opportunism and acceleration over 15 yards.
The Old Boys had fallen behind, giving away two rolling maul tries to the Exiles forwards in the first half hour of the game.
Suddenly they came back into the game with an opportunist try from Travers from a quick tapped penalty by Harry Tabb and and then a well struck penalty from the busy scrum half.
This equalised the scores at the interval.
There were several good runs from Paddy Donaghy and George Attipoe on the wings and the supply of ball to the three-quarters from Tabb and James Hodgson was sublime.
The second period started with a penalty from Tabb taken from just inside the Old Boys half of the field which crossed the bar with something to spare and gave the home side a three point lead.
This lead was soon nullified by a further push-over try by the league leaders whose only tactic this seemed to be.
However, eight minutes later following some forward pressure close to the Exiles line the ball came through several pairs of hands to Travers who was once again sharp enough to to force his way over the line for a second try.
With only eight minutes remaining Hodgson also darted over from some slick interpassing.
At this time the home forwards showed great endurance after having been mauled backwards for over an hour.
Breaks from the base of the scrum by both Emil and Douw Krugman concentrated the efforts of the visiting forwards and Andrew Feeney, having spent some time off the field with painful ribs, returned as a courageous front row replacement for the injured Barry Hopcraft.
After a long lay-off for injury Frankie D'Souza is coming back to full fitness and put in some forceful runs close to the scrum area.
A final try was scored by the deserving Douw Krugman to put the game beyond doubt.
Next Saturday the Old Wimbledonians have tricky away match against a strong Croydon team.