Captain Hallett leads by example as Wimbledon continue winning ways

Wimbledon 18 Guildford 15
Neil Hallett kicked all 18 points as Wimbledon overcame a disastrous first quarter to dramatically defeat high flying Guildford at Beverley Meads on Saturday afternoon.

Despite conceding early tries and trailing 12-0, Wimbledon stayed calm with captain Hallett guiding them to their third straight victory with unerring accuracy from penalties.

Wimbledon assistant coach, James Ogilvie-Bull, was delighted with the character and experience shown by his players: “We didn’t lose our heads, we didn’t panic and I think a few of the times they did and that was probably the difference.”

He hopes to improve on last year’s fourth place finish: “We had a loss the first game and we haven’t lost since. We want to keep on winning, we want to be in the top two and go for promotion.”

Guildford led 12-6 at the break with towering number 8 Nick Taft scoring two replica tries following hugely effective rolling mauls.

Wimbledon were soon level following two Hallett penalties but Jarrod Adam edged Guildford back in front before skipper Hallett nailed two late pressure kicks for the win.

The home side showed all their experience keeping the scoreboard ticking over when in trouble with players like Pete Scott, Aidan O’Brien and Josh Charles to the fore.

Dons held their nerve and discipline, finishing energetically and will be brimming with confidence when they travel to Hove next week in search of a bonus point win.

Previously undefeated Guildford troubled the hosts with their power and direct style but the loss of try scorer Taft before half time and a late penalty miss from Adam were costly.

Matt Hawkes, Guildford Assistant Coach was gutted with the result and put the reversal down to a number of factors: “Indiscipline from us, poor refereeing at times, poor decision making and some disappointing game management.”

He continued: “It’s a good learning experience but this is a place where we should come and win games. There’s nothing out on that pitch today that we can’t cope with.”

The hugely anticipated ‘Battle of the Quins’ didn’t materialised as respective head coaches and Harlequins team mates Nick Easter (Wimbledon) and Dave Ward (Guildford) were unavailable due to playing commitments.


Wimbledon – Neil Hallett (penalties x6)

Guildford: Jarrod Adam (conversion, penalty), Nick Taft (try x2)

Teams (Replacements in brackets):

Wimbledon: 1. Pete Wallace (Dan Holden), 2. Charlie Horn, 3. James Gillespie, 4. Shawn Renwick, 5. Aidan O’Brien, 6. Rob Tait (Chris Lewis), 7. Steve May, 8. Gary Grove, 9. Max Adkins, 10. Bryan Croke, 11. Josh Charles, 12. Niel Hallett (capt.), 13. Ti Pairama, 14. Pete Scott, 15. Neil Brown.

Guildford: 1. Mark Watkinson (Tom Bridgeland), 2. Ben Holden, 3. Bill Mairs, 4. Rob Mitchell, 5. Matt Stockdale, 6. James Kirk, 7. Phil Lucas, 8. Nick Taft (James Roberts) , 9. Tom Gill, 10. Alex Vaughan (Stuart Fee), 11. Alex Jordan, 12. Rory Andrews, 13. Ben Barrow, 14. Stuart Barkley, 15. Jarrod Adam (capt.).

Related Articles