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Home > News > London South Africans 5 – Wimbledon 25
Your News London South Africans 5 – Wimbledon 25

If there’s one criticism that could be levelled at Wimbledon after this otherwise excellent performance, it is that they didn’t finish off the South Africans by half time.

Their forwards had the edge for all but the first few minutes – the front five taking on their chunkier opponents with great spirit – and the backs were far superior throughout.

It didn’t start too well for Wimbledon though, with flanker Steve May off with a broken leg after just five minutes. However, replacement Herman ven der Merwe not only slotted in well but probably eclipsed fellow back rows, Julian Callanan and Jason Anquetil for the man-of-the-match award.

Some stylish play by the whole back line after fifteen minutes paved the way for wing Andy Reilly to make the possible start to his debut game for the club with an electric 40m run to score a fine try. And for the rest of the half Wimbledon dominated, producing some great flowing moves – two of them started by fullback Hugh Griffin in his own 22 – but they just couldn’t cross the try line and all but one of the many penalties the pack won were too wide for Griffin to convert.

Minutes into the second half though, he converted a good try by no.10 Elroy Cupido after Prop Pete Wallace had bulldozed through just short of the line. Now 15-0 ahead Dons inexplicably took their foot of the gas for a period, allowing the South Africans back into the game and to rumble over for a soft try. The lapse in concentration was short-lived however, and the last quarter was spent entirely in the home team’s half, during which Dons produced two more classy tries. The first came after the pack turned their opposition to win a scrum. Callanan made a good break before off-loading to scrum-half Alex Pyes who made no mistake from just 3m out.

Then a quick tap penalty by centre Dave Rees was taken on by Anquetil, who chose replacement wing Mike Simmons from three available players to give the scoring

pass to.

A fine all-round team performance from Wimbledon; hopefully all 18 of the squad will be available for a repeat next week at home to league leaders, Guildford.

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