Guildford Rugby Club

A time for reflection - Wimborne vs Guildford, Saturday 11 November 2023


Chobham 7 – 54 Guildford Blues

Another strong showing from the Blues who inflicted a 7-54 defeat away to Chobham. Well done guys!

Wimborne 22 - 26 Guildford

A time for reflection

Another first this season, a league game against Wimborne in Dorset who were promoted into our league at the end of last season and have been holding their own to date.  After savouring a hearty lunch and enjoying the hospitality of our hosts we gathered to show our respects to the fallen and reflect on the horrors of current conflicts.


After another slow start, with Guildford doing just enough to appear comfortable but looking like they were only in second gear and neither side looking like they were going to score, we all thought we were in for a long day.  With 25 minutes on the clock some good work by the Wimborne pack created space for their backs out wide and they scored an unconverted try in the corner.

Perhaps this try was the jolt to Guildford’s system that was needed to step things up a couple of gears.  It was evident that there had been some work in training on the scrum as it was much more stable after last week’s struggles.  It was from this a solid scrum platform in their own half that Liam Driscoll fed Alex Jordan who made a strong blindside break, Jonny Burden, supporting him on the inside, ran in for an unopposed try from 30 yards.  Joe Gwyther’s conversion was good.

Not long afterwards from an almost similar situation, Oli Millward was in support this time to run in a second try under the posts which was again converted by Joe Gwyther.

Joe Garner, obviously still high after winning the quiz on the bus on the way down due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of golf, put a little grubber kick through (or was it a chip with a sand wedge?)  for Oli Millward to run onto and dot down to score his second and Guildford’s third try, Joe Gwyther again adding the extras.

Guildford managed a period of dominance in the final stages of the first half but several chances went begging after a succession of lineout drives and pick-and-goes from the forwards were repelled by the home team.  Consequently, we went into the break leading 5-21.

The second half started where the first half left off, with Guildford applying lots of pressure early on, again going close, but being kept out by some resolute defence until Tom Waddell broke through to score, taking the score to 5-21.

Mid way through the second half we began to fall foul of the referee who looked to penalise Guildford at every opportunity allowing Wimborne to clear their lines and gain territory. There were a few puzzled looks from the supporters as to why we were being penalised. There were even more puzzled looks from the players who were struggling to understand what they were doing wrong.  To be fair to the Guildford players, they stuck with the task in hand and didn’t allow themselves to get too frustrated at things beyond their control.

From the territorial advances Wimborne managed to run in 2 successive tries out wide, which were not converted.  A final converted try from Wimborne took them to within four points of Guildford, 22-26 with 7 minutes on the clock.  This caused some anxiety amongst the spectators who were having flashbacks to Witney - surely history couldn’t repeat itself so soon, could it?

The final whistle was a welcome sound for the Guildford squad who had worked hard against the odds for their win.

A couple of things to work on in training, as always, but all in all the team is moving in the right direction.  Currently we have a very exciting back line who love to attack out wide and will score a lot of tries this season. The pack are providing a solid platform to enable this to happen - we have plenty to look forward to in the remainder of this season.

We had two new faces making their debut at Wimborne, Flynn Crean and Ben Roberts who made their first appearances after impressive debuts for the Blues the previous weekend.  Flynn ended up as Guildford’s Man of the Match – well done Flynn!  Unfortunately, Brett Kingsbury who made his first start for the 1st XV against Wimborne managed to dislocate his finger quite badly so may not be available for a couple of weeks.  We wish you will Ben and look forward to seeing you back on the pitch again soon.

Next week’s game is a home fixture and a local derby against Farnham who will be a much more difficult proposition.   We were almost outnumbered by the Reading support for our last home game – it would be great to line the balcony with Guildford supporters for this one – kick off is 2.30, come and join us if you can.    Later that evening Oktoberfest takes place in the clubhouse.  Let’s hope the atmosphere is more “Wunderbar” than “Sauerkraut”.

Mike Burden and Francoise Rankin


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