Guildford Rugby Football Club

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1st XV lose 16-13

Guildford faced local rivals Dorking in the first away game of the season looking to build on last week’s win against Chingford. Coach Dave Ward was forced to make a number of changes due to minor injuries and unavailability, including 6 personnel or positional changes in the back line. Kyle Smith moved from full back to scrum half with incumbent Brad Smith switching to 10 and his brother James making his debut at inside centre. Tom Harty made his first team return after last season’s injury at 13, Christian King moving out to the wing and Kirsten Jones made his debut at full back. In the pack, Howard Duffy got his first start of the season at hooker and Bill Mairs started with George Banks coming off the bench. Although understandably apprehensive against a strong Dorking backline, Guildford and their debutants acquitted themselves well in a frustrating game eventually going down 16-13, picking up a losing bonus point.
The game started with Dorking kicking off downhill and when Guildford cleared, the Dorking backs followed up a clever chip and gather with some pace out wide to score an unconverted try within the first minute. After this early setback, Guildford pressed Dorking and spent a considerable period in the Dorking 22, with the forwards driving into the defence. After some sustained pressure, the ball was put down the short side for Alex Jordan to go over out wide to level the scores. Dorking hit back with a penalty and scored from the final play of the half to turn around 13-5 in what had been a competitive contest that also saw Kyle Brown come off with an injury and Tudor Forbes, another of Guildford’s strong u21 pipeline, come on for his first team debut.
Guildford started positively in the second half with marked by a number of driving runs from Joe Garner in particular, who caused the home side problems all afternoon. The two teams exchanged penalties, but eventually, the pressure told and Nick Brown broke free from a ruck to beat a defender and dive over to take the score to 16-13. In the final moments of the game Guildford had their chances, but also defended well and made sure to take a point away from the game.
Guildford return to Broadwater on Saturday for an important match against Sidcup, kicking off at 3pm.

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