Hurricanes Leave Bognor Emptied Handed
On a perfect afternoon for rugby, Sandown & Shanklin travelled to Bognor for a titanic contest between two of the heavyweights in Hampshire 1.
On an afternoon in which many would describe as the perfect conditions for an afternoon watching and playing rugby, Sandown & Shankin travelled to Bognor RFC, who had been relegated from London South West 3 and who surely have their sights set on an immediate return. Both sides had started the season strongly, with two wins from two games, the victor of the days contest would surely finish the weekend as the team leading the way in Hampshire 1.
With the Hurricanes kicking off, they immediately managed to secure possession from the start with flanker Harry Hopper rising highest. Tthis allowed the Hurricanes to play from the start and with carries in the midfield from Sam Flux and Sam Rees, the away side were looking to continue to build on their good start. The uncompromising Bognor defence stood firm and the Sandown collective continued to try and find a way through the hosts staunch defence. After several phases Bognor were awarded the penalty and the ball was cleared into the Sandown territory.
From the resulting line out the ball would continue to be in play for the first 15 minutes, as the both sides racked up the phases, in an attempt to wear the other down. With legs tiring already in the first quarter of the game, Bognor received another penalty and kicked to the corner. Despite the constant pressure from the home side, the Hurricanes stood firm and repelled the home sides advances. The tackling and defensive efforts of Sam Tyson, David Graham and Cameron Mitchell keeping the defence at bay. With the line holding firm, the Hurricanes managed to clear the lines and relieve the pressure.
This allowed Sandown to then attack themselves with some strong running from wingers Barrett and Wedderkop, however the Bognor defence, much like the Sandown line, held firm. As possession and momentum again swung back the way of the home side, they made strong in roads through their strong carrying centre. And on the front foot, their back five came alive and took them up into the Sandown 22.
After struggling to get through the middle of the line, Bognor shaped up to go around the outside of the Sandown defence, and after some swift handling their winger was in space. Despite an excellent last ditch effort tackle from Michael Barrett, in which he had seemingly had the ball held up, the referee waited an age, before deciding to award the try. With the conversion, Bognor took the lead.
What followed from the restart was some poor defending from the Sandown boys, which allowed the Bognor second row to tie in the defence. With another couple of phases keeping the defence narrow, a cross-field kick bounced kindly for the home side and they were in for their second score of the game, and a 12-0 lead.
Following the restart Bognor again set about attacking the Sandown line, and the defence held and frustrated the hosts attack. With the visitors gaining a penalty and Cam Mitchell kicking it deep into Bognor territory, this was the opportunity for the Hurricanes to strike back. A line out drive and surge from Man of the Match No8 Gregor Dean tested the Bognor defence. In a moment strange moment, full back Sam Tyson dived over the line with the ball for the referee to award a try. However, with most of the Bognor team and some of the Hurricanes bewildered it materialised that the ref had awarded a try on the 5 metre line! With the referees blushes prominent, he awarded a scrum to the Hurricanes, who continued to push through the persistent Bognor defence. Strong drives from Hunter and Greenough were repelled and Bognor were holding firm. The half ended with Sandown being held out by the strong Bognor side.
The second half kicked off with again most of the play occuring in the middle of the pitch. With both sides attempting to breakdown the defences. Man of the match Michael Barrett's defence helped keep the visitors in the game as the Bognor attacks from the wingers were contained. With the big second row of Bognor sucking in the defence in the middle, the home side attack used the hands and put over their third try of the game.
In the dying moments of the game Bognor rang the changes, and with the defence being sucked in for the Hurricanes, quick hands allowed the Bognor winger to dot down under the posts, after a clever line in the midfield. The conversion was easy and a 26-0 lead for the home side.
With moments left Sandown caution to the wind, in an attempt to at least stamp a meaningful mark on the game. A late run from Zak Chiverton, found him gallop up the pitch and threatening the Bognor defence. However, he was tackled into touch. As Bognor claimed the ball, they cleared the ball off the field to claim the victory.
Sandown & Shanklin captain Sam Rees was in reflective mood following defeat.
"The boys did well today, and despite the scoreline, it doesn't quite show the amount of effort we put into the game. Fair play to the Bognor boys, they exploited the defences out-wide and some things for them came off today. I thought we held in well, especially in the first half hour, where it was a top quality game, going back and forth between each side., and pretty much end to end at that point.
There are plenty of lessons for this team today, we are still quite a young side and this will help us in the long run this season. Hopefully we can reverse the result back at home later in the season, and have a game as good as this one was today".
Next week sees an away trip to Alresford RFC, a reversal of the originally fixtured home tie against Alresford.
SSRFC: 1. Adam Tyas, 2. Zak Chiverton, 3. Sam Flux, 4. Luke Hunter, 5. Sam Rees (c), 6. David Greenough, 7. Harry Hopper, 8. Gregor Dean; 9. Tom Borrer, 10. Cameron Mitchell, 11. Michael Barrett, 12. David Graham, 13. Alex Loftus, 14. Jack Wedderkop, 15. Sam Tyson.
Subs: 16. Damian Seder, 17. Ben Harvey, 18. Jacob Jordan.