Guildford Rugby Club

Match report, GRFC Colts vs Old Reigatians, Sunday 10th December 2023




After a very impressive opening game of the season against Horsham, it has taken time for the GRFC Colts to find their rhythm, not helped by playing two of the teams left in the final 16 of the National Cup competition.  Brett Taylor and the coaches have been working on playing the ‘Guildford Way’ and we dedicated a number of training sessions to working on our shape.  Last week’s win against Chobham was a great result for the team, the question now was would this be good enough for a Cup final match in the top tier in Surrey?

London Irish hosted the event, and our opposition were Old Reigatians, playing for 5th place in the county.  Guildford started well, despite the heavy rain and kept ORs pinned down in their half.  Having missed out on taking the points for an early penalty, they then spent a stint defending and conceded an early penalty, going 0-3 down.  Their set piece forward work was working well with them dominating both the lineout and the scrum, even though ORs had a much heavier front row.  A slippery ball meant that there were plenty of opportunities to practice their scrumming ability.  A second penalty was neatly scored by ORs kicker bringing the score to 0-6.

20 minutes in and Guildford were awarded a penalty in ORs half.  Lochy Ellis-Jones kicked the ball expertly into the corner for an attacking lineout on their 5m.  Ozzy Rooken-Smith, neatly caught the ball in the lineout and set up a driving maul where Robin Tibi went over for the try.  The score 5-6.  The rest of the first half was spent defending but the fact that they did not concede a point during this period showed how well they were doing.  At the end of the half, the play switched ends and our backs had a chance to show their skills with Freddie Kay going over for a try.

Half Time:  Guildford 10 – Old Reigatians 6

Historically Guildford have always played better in the second half, and they showed their intent early on when ORs had a lineout on our 5m line.  It would have been easy to go defensive at this point, waiting for the imminent maul, but instead, they put up a jumper and expertly stole the ball.

At the other end a good team effort resulted in Theo Oxley going over for an excellent try.  The windy conditions meant that conversions were extremely difficult.  Score 15-6. A few minutes later Dom Fraser scored an excellent front row try, coming off the back of a maul.  Lochy skilfully converted.  Score 22-6.

As the packs started to tire, it gave a chance for our backs to show what they could do with Hector Adams running in on the far wing for his try.  Score 27-6.  After a lengthy defensive stint there was a great sequence where Lochy and Finn Jordan took the ball back into Old Reigatian’s half for one final attack.  A lineout on their 5m, followed by a driving maul allowed Josh Clapp to get on the scoreboard.  One final conversion.

Full time:  Guildford 34 – Old Reigatians 6

Special mention should go to Finn Barrowcliffe who was playing 9 (usual a flanker) and Theo Oxley who played 10 (usually a centre).  Both had an excellent game considering that they were playing out of position, and we are very grateful for them standing in.

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