London South West 3
Old Georgians 46 pts Weybridge Vandals 7 pt .
The score line was tough on Vandals who had to play for much of the game without the services of fly half Joe Spencer and centre and captain Harry Reed both of whom picked up injuries early in the first half which forced them to retire. Their replacements George Bolster, who had started at full back, and Fraser Mills now at Fullback, contributed much both in attack and defence but the disruption to team organisation gave Georgians, a fast skilful and mobile side opportunities to attack from all areas of the pitch. Vandals put in a tremendous effort in testing circumstances and the try they scored epitomised great spirit and their desire to show their willingness to attack from deep.
Georgians from early on showed their quality both in set pieces and in broken play and vandals did feed their strength of fast and crisp handling with some poor kicking. But it was from a scrum that their opponents scored their first try moving the ball wide to go over in the corner. The conversion was no problem for their kicker. But vandals defended superbly in the next phase of play as Georgians came storming back. Taking heart from this huge effort Vandals came within inches of scoring after a superb break by Reed was illegally held up. The penalty chance was not converted, and it was at this point that Vandals suffered the injuries to 2 key players and although they were gaining plenty of possession it was mostly in their own half as Georgia's defence was proving just as resolute. They then converted a penalty and scored a second try from a wayward kick to go into a 15 point lead. Two great line out drives from Vandals pack well led by number 8 Joshua Carter had the old Boys under pressure as did Bolster and Mills with fine breaks, but Vandals could not get a crucial try before the interval.
Spurred on by their efforts Vandals continued to drive forward gaining the territorial advantage but failing to control a set scrum allowed Georgians to pounce and kick ahead and although Vandals recovered to clear their lines they could not prevent Georgians win quick line out ball to unleash their backs to score a third try. 22 -0 very quickly became 29 -0 as another telling break by the old boys created space for their fourth score. A cricket score looked ominous but Vandals rallied magnificently with veteran prop Wayne Mason who had come on at half time stealing a ball from the tackle area to set in motion great handling and support work resulting in a brilliant run by scrum half Joe Heywood touching down close to the posts for a simple Bolster conversion. Relishing this try as Vandals band of supporters did it only served as a wake up call for the Old Boys and they proceeded to show their handling skills again to the tune of 2 further tries to take their score to 39 points, still showing great spirit and tenacity with newcomer Mark O'Mara and amongst others warming to the task Vandals set up an attacking line out but frustratingly lost possession allowing Georgians to unfold another counter attack. Foiled by a brilliant and defiant Vandals tackle they came again, and now a fully stretched defence were unable to prevent their line being crossed for a final time.
To have played such a good all round side in their opening League game was a reminder to vandals that the standard and quality of rugby in this London League is a step up from Surrey competition had all games will be tough and highly competitive, none more so than Vandals rivals next week, Hampshire side Gosport and Fareham against whom they have had many a royal battles in the past. With home advantage and with plenty of support Vandals will hope to come out with a positive result.
Written by John Farrow