Wimbledon 27 – Taunton Titans 42
Wimbledon gained their first point in National League Two by scoring four tries against Taunton Titans - Terry Bagworth Reports
Wimbledon gained their first point in National League Two by scoring four tries against Taunton Titans, a team that has only conceded 34 points in three previous winning matches this season. This shows the continued improvement that the Wimbledon team are making and also that by playing the stronger teams first they can learn quicker. Wimbledon were not helped by losing lock Ben Turner in the warm-up resulting in lock Andy Hore having to be summoned back from an away fixture to join the bench reserves. He later was called on and gained valuable lineout ball.
Taunton opened the first half with territory and possession with the familiar pick and go to create space and after four minutes scored a try through no.8 Charlie Walker-Blair, it went unconverted and on an afternoon of 12 tries, only two were converted by the two kickers in a tricky breeze. Wimbledon replied quickly with a move using both wings and Adam Ike scored, the conversion by James Doe was good and Wimbledon took the lead. A scrum penalty to Wimbledon was kicked to the corner and on 16 minutes loosehead prop George Beale forced his way over for a 12 – 5 lead. Taunton scored their second try almost immediately with wing Ollie Rice, converted by outside half Kieran Hill. Taunton’s third came from a lineout, but Hill hit the posts with the conversation attempt. Their bonus point try came just before halftime. With Taunton still dominating possession, they took a lead of 22 – 12 to the break.
This was soon increased to 27 – 12 with a try by scrum half Lewis Webb, but in some good sustained possession in the Taunton 5 metre area Wimbledon managed to get the ball to Ike again for his second try near the touchline. This was followed up with Taunton attacking to the Wimbledon 22 line, centre Ben Hough kicked through and chased, Ike was also involved and eventually left wing Josh Charles picked up and scored. Four minutes later a similar move with Hough this time ball in hand and again Ike and Charles saw him scoring again, just inches from the touch-line. Wimbledon were level at 27 – 27. Clearly the Taunton captain fullback Nick Mason had a strong talk with his players as in the last 14 minutes two tries, a penalty and a conversion were scored without reply from Wimbledon.
What impresses about Wimbledon is that each week better teamwork can be seen although some loose passes still get given to the dismay of supporters. A first point earned and a potential losing bonus point which looked possible at 66 minutes did not take too much shine off their performance. As with two years ago Wlmbledon are struggling in their first matches in a new league, then it was just two wins from the first six matches.