Guildford travelled to Chiswick on Saturday to take on CS Stags and came away with a dispiriting loss that leaves them joint 5th in in the very competitive London and South East Premiere league at the half way point of the season. With the fourth successive league game after a lighter schedule in November, coach Dave Ward fielded a younger side with Jordan Brown partnering his brother Nick in the second row and Rob Voller and Tom Hothersall making their season debuts at full back and right wing respectively.
The game kicked off with Guildford playing into the wind and rain, which the visitors struggled to deal with and contributed to a scrappy affair. CS Stags opened their account with a penalty and added an unconverted try soon after, with their number 8 picking from a scrum to dive over from a yard out, 8-0. The home side further added to their lead later on in the half, moving the ball to the far left for their winger to go over for a converted try to head into the half time break 15-0 ahead.
Although the weather improved slightly in the second half, the wind continued to be a factor. Guildford started knowing they needed to score first to create some momentum in the second half but were continually hampered by handling errors and a strong CS Stags defence. It was the home side that opened the scoring in the second half, spinning the ball left off a set piece on the 22 before putting it back inside to the right winger coming into the line who went through a gap to score under the posts for a converted try, 22-0. Guildford continued to press but were unable to build any sustained pressure and when CS Stage ran back a clearance kick from the half way for another unconverted try to make it 27-0 the contest was effectively over.
To their credit, the visitors scored a nice try after Bradley Smith cut through the Stags defence on their 22 to put Pete Hodgkinson in to put Guildford on the board. Guildford added a second soon after when Hodgkinson, running from deep, chipped the defence and hacked the ball down the field. CS Stags were unable to clean up the bobbling ball and after a further neat bit of footwork, Alex Jordan touched down for a second unconverted try, 27-10.
CS Stags had the final word, their scrum half diving over from short distance to leave the final score 32-10.
Guildford will need to regroup this week as they host Dorking at Broadwater this Saturday for the final game of 2018, kicking off at 2pm.