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Home > News > Wimbledon 15 - Sidcup 22
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Your News Wimbledon 15 - Sidcup 22

Few teams will find Sidcup easy this season, with their big pack posing a real challenge in the set set scrum and driving mauls, but when a team is reduced to 13 men for a ten minute period in each half, as Wimbledon were on Saturday, the challenge becomes very much tougher. Two of the yellow cards appeared harsh and the other two totally unwarranred. (When Nathan Kemp was despatched, even the Sidcup players expected one of their own to go instead!) But Wimbledon really didnít help their cause by alienating the referee with repeated backchat. When will they learn?

Ironically it was during the first 13 player period, twenty minutes in, that Dons fought back to level-pegging, having conceded two early tries. The first came when the visitorís pack powered over from a 5m scrum and the second minutes later when a defensive mix-up after a Sidcup kick-ahead gave the no.8 Cooper a clear run in. Stand-off Ody converted. With the game moving from end to end Ė Dons trying to play expansive rugby and Sidcup sticking to their successful 10-man game Ė the remaining Wimbledon forwards attacked ferociously to produce good ball in Sidcupís 22 and no.10 Neil Hallet jinked through for his teamís first try.

Then flanker Ed Lewisís first touch on returning to the field stole a Sidcup lineout and the series of ensuing drives from the pack ended with no. 8 Rich Stewart touching down. Halletís conversion made it 12-12 at half time.

The second half was more of the same end-to-end rugby, with Donís defence strong against the crash ball in the centre and their counter-attacks kept out by an equally strong Sidcup defence. But as the game moved into the third quarter, one of the increasing number of penalties against Wimbledon - moved closer to the posts for senseless backchat - let Ody put his side three points ahead.

The yellow for Kemp with 15 minutes remaining, immediately followed by one for prop Steve May, proved too much for Wimbledon. Having worn down the Sidcup pack to achieve parity up front, the numerical difference was decisive Ė and with four minutes remaining a Sidcup chip over the defence rebounded off a Wimbledon defender and bounced into the hands of the visitorís wing Clark who strolled in under the posts. Odyís simple conversion pui Sidcup 22-12 ahead.

A minute later Wimbledon had worked their way upfield again and earned a penalty. Wisely, with just seconds remaining, they opted for three points from Hallet to earn a losing bonus point.

Next week, away at Old Colfeians, it would be nice to see Wimbledon play 80 minutes with a full team Ė and fewer penalties against them.

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