Guildford Rugby Football Club
Guildford Rugby Football Club

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Gazelles Match Report – 26th January

Last Sunday the Gazelles welcomed Plymouth to Broadwater, having lost by only 2 points earlier in the season and having never beaten Plymouth the Gazelles were fired up to finally get one over on a team that had been a general banana skin for the last few years.

Playing into a slight breeze the Gazelles kicked off, not giving  Plymouth any room to break out of their half the Gazelles managed to steal the ball back and apply pressure from strong direct running from the forwards, followed by the backs moving the ball wide to test all aspects of the Plymouth defence. Having gone through multiple phases the Gazelles unfortunately knocked the ball on leading to the first scrum of the game. This was an area where Plymouth had the edge in the previous fixture however today the Gazelles took the upper hand; driving Plymouth off their ball number 8 Ruth Harper charged into their 22, Guildford’s centres reacted the quickest and secured the ruck, realising there was space out wide the Gazelles forwards showed off their ball handling skills and moved the ball down the line to all Abbie Wattkin to finish out wide. 5-0

This combination of forwards & backs didn’t end there, immediately from kick off Harper was off again maurading into Plymouth’s half, an infringement led to a penalty quickly taken by captain Gracie New to keep  the tempo and pressure high.  The Gazelles were turned over just outside the 22 however after a poor clearance Philli Wellman charged straight back towards the Plymouth line and in nearly identical fashion the Gazelles moved the ball down the line this time Georgia Thomas crashed over. 10-0

Plymouth began to get into the game but rarely threatened to get on the score sheet, after another successful exit Thomas managed to catch Plymouth’s 15 who tried to run the ball out of her half, this led to a turnover and a charge upfield, although briefly held up over the line another strong scrum freed up enough space on the right for Wattkin to scamper over first her second.

15-0 Half Time.

With the weather deteriorating the Gazelles knew that they would have to act fast if they wanted to secure two more tries and the bonus point and within 5 minutes of the restart they secured their 4th, the scrum again the platform as Harper fed New who although initially heading right changed direction quickly and stampeded towards the left corner flag – with the cover coming across it was only great speed and awareness from winger Wellman who managed to catch her skipper and take a fantastic floated pass to get another score in the corner. 20-0

At this point the weather really turned and no matter hard they tried the Gazelles couldn’t go through enough phases to apply real pressure to Plymouth and although the opposition offered no threat.

With the coaches unloading the bench momentum was still with the home side, the scrum still dominant with a new fresh front row still causing great problems but still Guildford couldn’t secure the bonus point. With 10 minutes to go however the Gazelles finally got their reward, great line speed by debutant Helen Harris who with her first touch of the bell scooped up a wayward pass, selling a huge dummy and sailing towards the line – a fine cover tackle by the Plymouth 15 stopped her 1 yard short however a quick pop off the ground to Harper allowed her to flop over for the 5th and bonus point try, duly converted by Katie Davies.

Although Plymouth rallied late on finally getting done decent field position the Gazelles held firm with the final score 27-0.

The Gazelles moved back to second in the league however travel to Devon this weekend to take on 3rd placed Cullompton, a win here will hopefully cement 2nd place.

Players Player              Moji Banjo

Forward of the match Emily Joy

Back of the Match      Gracie New

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