Surrey trip ends in loss for Blues

After their comprehensive victory over Farnham a week later, Chichester couldn’t repeat the result when they travelled up the A3 to play Guildford, and lost the London one south tussle 43-22.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 2:45 pm
Richard Ives in the thick of it for Chichester at Guildford / Picture: Alison Tanner

A small Chi contingent made the journey and the Blues made four changes to the team that beat Farnham.

Richard Ives returned in the front row, Freddie Slater came into the backs at right wing with Niall Wright and Harry Seaman on the bench.

For the first 15 minutes play ebbed and flowed as both sides probed each other’s defensive line.

Matt McLagan on the run for Chichester at Guildford / Picture: Alison Tanner

Joe Woods put in a massive hit to stop a Guildford attack on the 5m line, turning over the ball and initiating a counter attack which saw Rhys Thompson, Gareth Davies, Freddie Slater and MoM Tyrese Makasi move the ball 70m up the pitch before it was knocked on.

From the scrum the Guildford backs moved the ball across the field and the winger ran in the first try from 50m, converted, 7-0.

The ball was taken by Ross Miller, in his own half, and another lightning attack saw the ball pass through the hands of Thompson and Tom Blewitt with an offload to Makasi. The young flanker crossed the whitewash but the ball was judged to have been held up.

The dropout was caught by Matt McLagan whose run was stopped illegally by the Guildford defence. Ben Robson’s tap penalty took the opposition by surprise and he burst through to dot down under the posts. Converted by Blewitt, 7-7.

From the restart Guildford recovered the ball and ran it in to score, 12-7. Five minutes later Guildford scored their third try when they pushed Blues off the ball with their counter rucking, 17-7.

With five minutes of the half left Gareth Davies put in a massive clearance kick that was fumbled into touch by the opposition winger on his 22m line.

Charlie Wallace brought the ball down and it was worked across the field and from the breakdown the ball was passed to Miller running an unstoppable line before stepping the fullback to touch down under the posts. Converted by Blewitt, 17-14.

From the restart Blues upped the tempo and with a minute left Guildford were pressured into conceding a penalty, kicked by Blewitt to makr it 17-17.

The Blues looked extremely dangerous in attack but were losing the ball to easily and missing their tackles.

After 26 minutes of the second half Chichester had conceded four more tries, three of which were converted, making it 43-17.

All the Blues’ attacking moves ended in unforced errors and their defence was exposed by Guildford’s fast counter attacks. With a few minutes left Matt McLagan took a high ball and it was moved across the pitch by the backs. The forwards advanced the ball with a series of pick and goes before McLagan beat 2 men to dot down.

Despite the score, positives will be taken from this game.

Chichester’s next match is on Saturday week (November 27) when they welcome London Irish to Oaklands Park (2.30pm).