Five tries and a bonus point leave the Dons feeling happy
Wimbledon returned to winning ways in London Division One South thanks to a 36-12 bonus point victory over Dover.
Tries from Dan Brown, debutant Charlie Horn, Peter Scott and James Hayes (two), plus 11 points off Neil Hallett's boot, made the difference.
With the packs evenly matched - and the visitor’s rucking especially effective – the harsh dismissal for 10 minutes of Wimbledon lock Rich Stevens delayed Dons’ first half domination until the 20th minute.
A pinpoint kick from number 10 Hallett gave centre Brown a clear run in for try number one, expertly converted by Hallett from the touchline.
Although Dover’s three-quarters got plenty of ball from their forwards they were no match for Dons’ backs and some great inter-play between fullback Myles Stringer and centre Kua Palakua soon produced a try well taken by hooker Horn to seal a most impressive 1st XV debut.
Hallett’s conversion and a penalty moments later brought the half-time score to 17-0.
Soon after the restart, Hallett made it 24-0 by converting try number three from scrum-half Hayes, who profitted thanks to a perfectly timed pass by number eight Ollie Rupar off the base of a 5m scrum.
Try number four quickly followed from wing Scott, who had looked like scoring almost every time he got the ball - slick passing by Hayes and Hallett gave him the half-metre he needed to round his opposite number, out-pace the cross-covering defence and race in from half way to score beneath the posts. Hallett again converted.
With 15 minutes remaining, Dover staged their fightback and with both Wimbledon props injured (and the ref surprisingly not allowing uncontested scrums) the home team looked a bit edgy.
But Wimbledon deservedly had the last word when Hayes rounded off a sterling performance at scrum half by gathering the ball from a line-out and sprinting through unopposed to score Dons’ final try and take the score to a convincing 36-12.
Wimbledon visitors next week are Old Colfeians. Although they have yet to record a win this season, Dons will be taking nothing for granted.