Guildford Rugby Football Club

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Guildford win 15-13 against Hertford

Guildford picked up a valuable away win 15-13 against Hertford on Saturday in a game dominated by the wet and windy conditions. Hertford were Guildford’s opponents in the final game of last season that saw Guildford retain their status in the league and finished the previous season in fifth position, so Guildford travelled knowing the size of the challenge that awaited them.
The team sheet again showed a number of changes, with Luke Rust making his first start of the season paired with Andy Jones in the centre. Player/coach Pete Hodgkinson returned after a brief injury lay off at ten and in the absence of Sam Kettle, Joe Garner moved to the open side, with Courtney Raymond switching to 8 to and Ben Holden, returning to first team rugby after a season out due to a neck injury, at blind side. The front row also saw Bill Mairs step in for an injured Matt Poole and Harry Phillips make his first start at hooker.
The first half as a dour affair littered with handling errors and at half time the score reflected this, 3-3, with Guildford’s points coming from the penalty spot and the boot of Kyle Brown. In the second half, Hertford drew first blood after a Guildford clearance kick failed to make any ground and put the forwards offside. Hertford kicked the penalty to the Guildford 22, won the lineout and after a series of phases, one of their second rows crashed over from short range for a converted score to make it 10-3. Guildford continued to battle and after a driven lineout took them deep into the opponents 22 a moment of magic from Hodgkinson levelled the scores. Taking the ball from scrumhalf Bradley Smith, Hodkinson shaped to kick to the touchline for the winger, causing the defence to drift off him. At the last moment, Hodgkinson changed his shape, chipped the defence for himself, gathered on the bounce and touched down by the posts for a converted score to level the scores at ten apiece.
Hertford added a penalty to take the lead, but Guildford had the final word, driving another lineout for Holden to crash over out wide for an unconverted score. Hertford threw everything into the final few minutes but Guildford held firm and when the whistle blew, Guildford took the victory 13-15 and now lie sixth in the league table.
On Saturday, Tunbridge Wells visit Broadwater, with Dave Ward’s squad looking to build some momentum off the back of this performance.

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