Sandown knocked out of the Plate
The Hurricanes were defeated in the Semi-final of the Hampshire Plate, after a torrid afternoon in tough conditions saw them lose 24-12 to Southampton RFC.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC were dumped out of the Gales HS Plate, by Southampton RFC on Saturday, as the home side played the conditions much better than the Hurricanes.
The first half did not begin in the best manner for the Hurricanes, for two reasons. The first being that loose head Adam Tyas did not take the field as the referee kick off the game. Despite this Ben Harvey took the starting birth at loose head, until it materialised that Adam had been receiving physio attention in the changing rooms. Nevertheless, Sandown & Shanklin played into the wind and rain in the first half, and found it very difficult to clear their lines. This was compounded with an early try from the hosts, when a cross field kick was put into space and the Southampton winger touched down. With the conversion missed, but an early lead for the hosts, it was going to be hard first half.
Not much later Southampton had found themselves back outside the Hurricanes 22, as again, the away side could not clear their lines sufficiently. After a strong maul was driven to the try line, it was stopped short, and with the ball spun down the blindside, the home side crashed over for a second score and to extend their lead. Adding the conversion, Southampton were up 12-0, and the game was slipping through the hands of the Hurricanes.
The Sandown pack began to fight back, and as the carries began to bite against the home sides defence, the Hurricanes were beginning to make some headway. With some space earned Alex Loftus chipped through, and with a foot race to the ball, he hacked it through again, and having seemingly traversed the touchline and dotted the ball down, it seemed as there was hope for the Hurricanes. Yet, the touch judge had other thoughts, and ruled that the ball had crossed the touchline. Southampton cleared their lines up the ten metre line, and this allowed the visitors to attack again. Some strong running from man of the match Henry Bagnall and Ben Shannon, gained the Hurricanes good metres. However, as the ball was put through the hands, an intercept was made and the home side when coast to coast and scored a breakaway try to push the game even further out of reach for Sandown & Shanklin, 19-0. The half ended with the Hurricanes being held at arms length by the Southampton defence, and going in behind 19-0 down.
The second half got off to a much better start, strong carrying from Luke Hunter and Sam Flux was causing the home sides issues in defence. This got the Hurricanes up into the Southampton 22 and when the defence had been split, Cameron fed Michael Barrett who was able to dash through the line to score, Flux converted and immediately the game was back on, 19-7. Off the restart the ball found it's way to Flux again, who drew two defenders and offloaded to Hunter, who charged up field. With the tails up, the Hurricanes confidence was growing, as the simplified game plan was getting them up the field. Following a series of scrums in the middle of the field, Sandown & Shanklin were able to drive up the try line, and Ben Shannon thought he had managed to get himself over the try line, but was adjudged to be held up. From the resulting 5m scrum, the Hurricanes set about finding the second score, and after several drives toward the line, Luke Hunter muscled his way over. The conversion this time hit the post and with the posts still shaking, it just wouldn't seem the visitors day.
It would later be confirmed it wasn't, after ignoring the officials calls to retreat back on side, Alex Loftus was shown a yellow card. This was the quickly followed up with a second yellow, after foolishly gesticulating at the linesman. With Sandown & Shanklin set to play out the remainder of the game with 14 men, it was now a much harder task to comeback.
Moments later the tie was killed off, as Southampon managed to go the length of the field and score a try in the corner, 24-12. With the Hurricanes desperately looking for a way back into the game, they could not find any last minute miracles, and were dumped out of the Plate.
As disappointing as the result would be, it is a lesson and experience for a very young side, who will surely be lifting some silverware in years to come. Sandown & Shanklin now turn their attention to the league, with the task of chasing down Millbrook and Bognor now their priority. The Hurricanes will host Millbrook next Saturday, whilst the 2nd XV will travel to Locksheath Pumas 2nd XV and look to repeat their 93-0 victory from earlier in the season.