Wimbledon knew that this would be a very tough fixture and so it proved. On a blisteringly hot afternoon they travelled to Barnes to face a team still smarting from coming second in National League East last season and missing promotion.
With new players still finding their way in the team, and seven changes from last week, Wimbledon again managed to score tries – three this week – but Barnes were clearly the better side and their five years of experience at this level showed.
However the Wimbledon coaching team have plenty of positives to take from the two opening fixtures and a long injury list of quality players will make their presence felt when they return later in a long season.
Wimbledon found themselves under pressure in the scrum almost from the start, but Barnes opened the scoring with a try for centre Jordan Souter on the left
side of the posts, the conversion a formality for Ben Cook, the first of six that he kicked.
Wimbledon replied immediately with a penalty for Edward Morgan before a break by Morgan led to a try for Josh Stace, the conversion gave Wimbledon the lead 10-7.
Left wing Max Lufkin was involved in the action and Barnes conceded a penalty but the following kick to the corner could not be turned into points when the lineout misfired.
Barnes moved the ball through many hands with slick passing on its way from right to left and scored a try with simple execution, and quickly followed it with another.
Their fullback Cameron Roberts, scored his hat-trick with the fourth and it was one-way against them for Wimbledon. Half-time came with Barnes 33-10 ahead. All the players from both teams left the pitch to the shade under the trees.
The second half was almost a copy of the first but this time Wimbledon managed their second and third tries, the first by hooker Malek Touilzak, who burrowed over from a driving maul following a lineout but unconverted, and the second by lock Matt Grobler and this time converted by Morgan.
The driving maul that more than once put Barnes under pressure was another positive but clearly before long Wimbledon will find themselves against less efficient opposition in more temperate weather conditions and having gained more familiarity with each other.
Wimbledon are at home to newly-promoted Westcombe Park on Saturday.
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