Match Report
Guildford Grammar School 1st XV vs  Hale School, Perth
On: Thursday, 31 May 2018
Venue: at Home

Three things became very apparent after watching Guildford Grammar 1st XV take on Hale School at home. Firstly, this 1st XV has the ability to beat any team in the PSA and fortunately there is a second round of fixtures to improve our mental fortitude and prove this statement. Secondly, the team need to work on their conditioning, in the form of road running and weight training, an activity that the players need to commit to in addition to their formal 1st XV training commitments. There is no hiding at this level. Finally, the players need to watch more professional rugby. Many opportunities passed this team by, simply because their was a lack of comprehension about the idiosyncrasies of the game.

The game was played in relatively ambient conditions. The thunder storms of the late morning had broken to provide a grey damp back drop for the afternoons fixture. The boys responded well to the pre-game preparations which had to be modified due to mock exam commitments during the week. A sluggish and uninspired Hale in the first half were slow to respond to the referees superb interpretation of the game and found themselves on the receiving end of a 16 point deficit at half time. Freddy Cassell's marksmanship with three penalties and the conversion of a well crafted try by Oscar Anderson, had provided the 1st XV with a strong lead. In fact Cassell should be praised for not missing a kick at the posts all day in blustery testing conditions.

The second half should have been a formality, however, Hale had other ideas. They were prepared to attack around the fringes and engineer overlaps out wide to collect their spoils. In many ways this was a backhanded compliment to the Guildford defence as it was solid in the middle. The Guildford 1st XV did not react well to injuries sustained to some key players and this affected the players belief in their own abilities. Bottom line Hale were on the ropes after the first half and were there for the taking. 1st XV PSA rugby is about maintaining relentless pressure for 70 min and having the mental fortitude to punish the opposition for their mistakes. Isaac Evans was able to penetrate the Hale defence ,in the final minutes of the game, to score a try and bring Guildford within 10 points.

Next up the team face Christ Church on the 16th June. This provides the team with enough time to reap the benefits of some additional weight sessions and those 5km road runs. Hopefully, the team recognise this match as a turning point and appreciate that they have the ability to beat any PSA team in the competition.

Congratulations to Marcus Peters on collecting his first 1st XV cap. Best back is awarded to Freddy Cassell for his kicking accuracy and his understanding of the nuances of the game to use to the team's advantage. Best forward was James Ford.

GGS 23 - Hale 33

Doug Fawcett

Director of Rugby