Rugby union: Wimbledon pack overpower Guildford

Wimbledon piled more misery on London & SE Premier’s bottom club Guilford – winning 38-0 in atrocious conditions.

The home side could not compete with the Dons’ pack, in attack or defence, and had it not been for a sterling effort by their number eight – behind a scrum being driven back at a rate of knots – the final scoreline would have been even wider.

With the ball like a bar of soap the handling by Dons half-backs, Blane Wilson and Steve Boatman, was superb. Wisely in the conditions, they rarely spread it wide, giving it short instead to any one of the charging forwards to break the gain line, recycle, pick and drive and break it again – and again.

It took just eight minutes for one such sequence of play to result in Wimbledon’s first try, when Chris York broke blind from the back of a five-metre scrum and ran in unopposed.

Although close to the posts, Boatman considered himself lucky to defeat the swirling gale and make the conversion.

But with Guildford using the wind to make huge territory gains, aided by several soft penalty offences by Wimbledon, it was another 20 minutes before Wimbledon scored again.

Flanker Jack Flanagan went over in circumstances similar to their first try. Boatman again beat the wind.

Wimbledon spread the ball wide – for one of the only times in the game – and wing Toby White raced in to score in the corner just before the break.

Five minutes into the second half the Dons pack created the try-bonus score with a charge down close to Guildford’s line and a smart pick-up by prop Bradley Ugodulunwa, who ploughed over the try line taking two defenders with him. Boatman’s conversion took their lead to 26-0.

With the handling error count on both sides unsurprisingly increasing in the mud, Guildford managed to keep Wimbledon out for the next 20 minutes.

But with the visitors now earning penalties at most set scrums the inevitable fifth score came from another period of pack pressure which ended when the referee lost patience with the home pack and awarded Dons a penalty try.

A 25-metre drive by the forwards was the catalyst for Wimbledon’s final scoring. A Boatman penalty kick to the corner, and a secure lineout and drive before York touched down for his second of the day.

The Dons are third in the table – eight points behind leaders Guernsey and Rochford Hundred.
They are at home to fourth-placed Dorking tomorrow.

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