Guildford Rugby Club

Guildford’s unbeaten run comes to an end as they miss out on 3rd place league finish

Tottonians 25 – Guildford 15

Team: 1 Luke Brookes, 2 Jacob Jones, 3 Alex Hankins (VC), 4 Alex Burrill, 5 Harry Phillips, 6 Ed Pasfield, 7 Brett Kingsbury, 8 Ollie Millward, 9 Liam Driscoll, 10 Joe Gwyther, 11 Louis Bounds, 12 Oli Fielder, 13, Zac Rodber, 14 Alex Jordan, 15 Rob Voller (c)

Replacements: 16 Jon Karimian, 17 Lewis Gunn, 18 Jonny Burden

After a week off for Easter, Guildford lost their final game of the season at Tottonians.  There was only one point separating the two sides before the game with the winner securing third place.  After their slow start to the season, Guildford won’t be unhappy with a 4th place finish.  Guildford lost their previous encounter with Tottonians 15 – 29, in the first game of the season.

The side showed several changes due to injury and unavailability.  Luke Brookes and Liam Driscoll replacing Matt Poole and Ieuan Jones respectively.  Joe Gwyther was back in the 10 shirt, and it was good to see Jonny Burden back in the match-day squad.

Another notable milestone was that of captain Rob Voller reaching his 50th cap for Guildford.  Rob has been at the club since he was 5 years old and is another product from the Minis and Youth production line.  Congratulations Rob!  It was also the last game in charge for backs coach Tom Williams, who has had a major influence on the development of the squad over the last few years.  Thanks for all your hard work, Tom!


Guildford kicked off and were very subdued at the start of the match.  They looked lethargic and still on the bus and Totts managed to work their way up the field and got 3 points on the board from a penalty within the first 5 minutes.   Guildford were not at their best for the next 15 minutes with Totts adding two unconverted tries and another penalty to make the score Tottonians 18 – 0 Guildford after 20 minutes.

Guildford finally woke up and got themselves into the game.  They managed to keep the ball for several phases, create space and  were starting to look more like a team that was playing for third place in the league. The scrummage was working well, the lineout was working well considering the windy conditions and the fact they were missing the injured Joe Garner and Flynn Crean who has come to the end of his time at Guildford and moved onto new adventures before returning to New Zealand later in the year.

It was from a solid scrum platform that the ball was worked to Louis Bounds on the wing who was able to round the defence and open the scoring for Guildford with the clock showing 30 minutes elapsed. Joe Gwyther’s conversion was good. (Tottonians 18 – 7 Guildford).

The strong wind blowing across the pitch was having a significant impact on proceedings.  Both sides were using long kicks to relieve pressure and gain ground.  Guildford were starting to get back into their groove and creating quick ball for players running from deep to break through the defence.

Harry Philips made a good break down the 5m channel and offloaded to Zac Rodber, who dummied the fullback to run over unopposed for Guildford’s second try. The conversion into the wind was missed. (Tottonians 18 – 12 Guildford).  Shortly afterwards the referee blew his whistle to end the half.

HT: Tottonians 18 - 12 Guildford

Tottonians got the second half underway, and Guildford continued some of the good work from the latter part of the first half but were just not able to make the final pass stick, or got isolated and then penalised for holding on.  Quite a recurring problem this season.

After a period of good early pressure, Guildford were awarded a penalty close to the posts and opted to take a shot at goal.  Joe Gwyther was successful in his attempt and the score moved to Tottonians 18 – 15 Guildford.

The remainder of the half was a real tight affair with a high degree of tension evident in the supporters from both teams.  Neither side managed to gain any real dominance, they were matching each other in the set piece, any attack was snuffed out by the defence, sometimes by a last gasp tackle, sometimes by a fumble, but it was all very close. 

The breakthrough didn’t occur until the clock showed 30 minutes played of the second half.  Totts decided to take a scrum when awarded a penalty in the Guildford 22 rather than risk a lineout in the windy conditions.  They secured the ball, and after a couple of phases, a Totts centre crashed over close to the posts for a converted try.  (Tottonians 25 – 15 Guildford).

With 10 minutes left on the clock Guildford were under pressure to get a couple of scores on the board quickly and Totts were keen to hold on to their 10 point lead.  The closing minutes of the game were typical of a cup tie, both teams working hard in attack and defence.  Guildford desperate for the breakthrough, which they just couldn’t manufacture.  At the final whistle it was clear that Guildford had given their all in the closing stages, but the mountain they made for themselves to climb after conceding 18 points in the first 20 minutes was just too high.

FT Tottonians 25 – Guildford 15

Guildford were disappointed with the result today, however in terms of the overall season a fourth place finish is something they would have been pleased with back in September. They have played some good rugby this season, perhaps they have played too much rugby and should use their kicking game better to gain territory.  The lineout is a strength and could have been more of an attacking weapon.

It has been good to see several Colts coming through into the senior sides and grow with each game. Jacob Jones amongst others, has impressed in his outings over the season.

As there are no more games left this season, the next event to look forward to is the End of Season Awards evening on 20th April where we can celebrate the men’s and women’s successes on the field and look forward to next season.

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