Forward power gives Dons victory

Wimbledon beat Chobham 35-0 on Saturday.

Chobham went into the match desperate for a win in their battle to avoid relegation, while Wimbledon were equally keen for a victory that would almost guarantee them at least second in the league and a place in the promotion play-offs.

In the end Dons won by some margin. It would have been far greater but for some resolute defence by Chobham, although it was a shame for the many spectators at this floodlit game that their defence relied so heavily on killing the ball and therefore the match itself.

With the Wimbledon pack totally dominant from the first scrum the visitors resorted to so many offences in the ruck that the game almost became one long penalty or scrum.

In the first half especially Wimbledon didn’t help their cause by letting their frustration at spending 90 per cent in Chobham’s 22 but not converting territory into points because of far too many basic errors.

Even the normally reliable Leon Driscoll missed two relatively straight forward penalty kicks at goal.

Eventually though, on the half hour, Dons at last kept control of a huge drive and the pack went over with lock Brett Box’s hands on the ball. Driscoll made no mistake with the conversion.

In the dying minutes of the half, with every Wimbledon player and supporter wondering just how many more Chobham infringements it would take for the referee to produce a yellow card, he did just that.

15 minutes after the re-start he produced it again – and again, for Chobham’s lock and flanker, but not before prop Joey Nanai had claimed another forwards try.

With hooker Nathan Kemp throwing–in unerringly to his jumper Rob Tait, well-supported by Box, the lineout became almost as strong an attacking weapon as the scrum and 20 minutes in one led to the third forward try, this one claimed by lock Rich Stewart.

Two more classic forward tries followed, the first scored by prop Pete Wallace, the second by Kemp, and Driscoll’s two points maintained his 100 per cent try conversion rate and brought up the final score in a match in which Dons’ backs hardly broke sweat.

On the rare occasions they had to defend though, they looked a hard line to break.

They will be looking for more action next week, away at Effingham & Leatherhead, and the pack will want a repeat of this fine demonstration of forward power.

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