Charlton Parks learning experience, in the higher leagues continued last Saturday when an opening twenty minute period of play saw Wimbledon’s direct running enabled them to score 22 unanswered points and in doing so set up a lead that saw them consigning Charlton Park to third consecutive loss in the league.
From the onset of the game errors made Charlton Park cost them dearly as from the kick off they were stripped of the ball at a maul and Wimbledon then utilised their speedy back division to run the ball from within their half to score a converted try under the goal posts. I To compound Charlton’s woes following Charlton knocking the ball on Wimbledon were quicker to react and a hack through from the visitors was chased well enabling saw Wimbledon score another quick try and establishing a twelve point lead after only eight minutes. A Wimbledon penalty, awarded after another Charlton error increased their lead and it was only after twenty minutes, after Wimbledon had scored their third try, did Charlton stabilise their play and establish any continuity.
Despite being on the back foot from the kick off Charlton’s scrumming had begun to dominate causing innumerable problems and it this aspect of play that was to provide the basis of Charlton breaking back into the match. It was following a Wimbledon knock on that when, at the ensuing scrum, collapsed scrum Charlton were awarded a penalty, duly kicked by Thor Normann and with Wimbledon avoiding scrummaging if possible when Charlton were awarded a penalty close to the visitors goal line, Charlton opted to take a scrum. After several collapsed scrums, with Charlton going forward, the referee lost patience and sin-binned a Wimbledon player and when at the next scrum it collapsed again he awarded Charlton a penalty try which Normann subsequently converted.
The second half in contrast to the first, was different and was extremely well balanced with both sides enjoying periods of dominance but both defences nullified any attacks. Throughout the match Wimbledon had illustrated the speed of thought and action required at a higher level and this was illustrated when midway through the second half that a quickly taken tapped penalty saw Wimbledon pass the ball through a number of pairs of hands and their right wing outstripped the covering Charlton defence for score his hat-trick try.
With a try bonus point guaranteed Wimbledon continued to press and tried to contain Charlton back in their half. It was a moment of skill from Normann that created the last try of the match when following a kick though from Wimbledon, he picked the ball up in Charlton’s twenty two metre area, and after side-stepping past the chasing Wimbledon players to set off up field outstripping the covering Wimbledon defence and when he was finally tackled good support play from Joss Mickelburgh the ball reached Rob Saunderson who forced his way over for the try.
Despite the third loss there is evidence that Charlton are learning quickly and that they are making rapid progress which bodes well for further matches.
Next Saturday Charlton entertain Hove at Broadwalk 3,00pm kick off.