Derby Game end in Delight for the Hurricanes
Sandown & Shanklin secure victory in a tight and exciting game against local rivals Isle of Wight RFC.
The much anticipated 2nd part of the local derby games for the 2017/18 season took place at Wootton Rec, with both the Sandown & Shanklin 1st & 2nd XVs on show against the Isle of Wight's counterparts.
With last seasons result still in the memory of the many, this was the opportunity for the Hurricanes to avenge that loss and recover from losing their last two fixtures in the league. The IOW had fared slightly better in their last two games, despite the loss to Millbrook the week previous, they recorded a strong win against newly promoted Overton.
The Hurricanes were kicking off, and despite the rain holding off for the afternoon, the wind was swirling and could cause issues for anyone that lapsed in their concentration. Cameron Mitchell got the game underway and the IOW secured the ball and cleared their lines. This allowed the Hurricanes their first opportunity to attack the hosts defensive line, and despite coming close in the opening minutes, a penalty at the breakdown helped Wootton hold the line. Quick thinking from their back line, saw them take the quick tap, and from their own 5m line spun the ball wide and into the hands of their fullback, who then streaked down the touch line, for a sucker punch score. With the difficult conversion on the touch line, it was narrowly wide, but provided an early 5-0 lead for the hosts, and not the best of starts for the Hurries.
The game restarted with another contestable kick off from Cam Mitchell, the receiving IOW players barely getting any time to react after catching the ball. With the alarm bells slightly ringing in the ears of the Hurricanes, and after conceding a couple of penalties, they were soon under the cosh even more, as the IOW converted a penalty to extend their lead to 8-0.
The Hurricanes rallied from here, and keeping their cool, managed to regain possession and also swing the momentum in their favour. From a lineout the debuting Darren Carew carried strongly down the blindside and the Hurricanes soon found themselves attacking the IOW try line from short range again. Strong carries from the second row of Hunter and Flux, saw the Isle of Wight defence tested, but held firm. Another handful of phases later saw Flux crash over the line, but the referee awarded a penalty in favour of the defenders, as there was judged to be crossing in the act of scoring. IOW cleared their lines, nevertheless the Sandown pack were back a few moments later. After a quick line out on the half way line, scrum-half Jacob Jordan saw a gap and broke free from the home sides defence. After being tackled, he offloaded to supporting Man of the Match Harrison Booth, who then sped away for the Hurricanes first score of the game. With the conversion slightly short from Borrer, Sandown were straight back in the game and looked imposing. Moments later, Tom Borrer had the opportunity from the tee to level the scores, with a penalty in front of the posts. We his kick this time successful, the scores were tied at 8-8 going into the half time break.
The second half kicked off with the Hurricanes increasing the intensity and keeping the pressure on the home side in attack. This in turn started to create gaps in around the defence of the hosts, and the Sandown back line was starting to fire. Centres Sam Tyson and David Graham using their quick feet to get around the outside of the on rushing defence on multiple occasions. The only factor letting down the Hurricanes, was their resourcing at ruck time, as they were too slow to get over and protect their own possession. This allowed the IOW to repel and clear the Hurricanes attacks and push themselves up the field. Man of the Match Cam Mitchell was now pulling the strings the midfield, and his forwards were starting to carry well and gain the visitors good momentum and yards. Another Tom Borrer penalty allowed the Hurricanes to take the lead for the first time in the game, 8-11.
After a succession of penalties in favour of the Hurricanes, Cam Mitchell kicked the forwards into the IOW 22, and following a strong maul that was stopped short of the try line, the advantage was again in favour of Sandown. The forwards continued to carry to the line, and a try was disallowed for substitute and debutante Ben Shannon. Nevertheless with the advantage Sandown kicked to the corner again, and with the maul again being held up, the forwards looked to batter their way over the try line. Yet, the tenacious Jacob Jordan buried over the line from close range, and with Borrer converting, the Hurricanes edged themselves further ahead on the scoreboard, 8-18.
The margin did not deter the hosts, as they struck back through two long range penalties to keep the scores close going into the last quarter of the game, 14-18. With the IOW defence tiring the Hurricanes forwards were starting to stretch the hosts defence even further. A quick phase in midfield which saw Flux feed Hunter out the back, and in turn feed Hooker Zak Chiverton, who used his pace to out strip the defence and charge to the try line. A last ditch tackle saw the despairing Chiverton lose the ball metres short of the try line. With the IOW clearing their lines from the resulting scrum, they did not clear far enough, and this presented the opportunity for the Hurricanes forward pack to set another maul and carry toward the line. Chiverton was vindicated, after collecting the ball off the back of a maul and surged over the line. Borrer's conversion again just short, but the scores were now 14-23 to the away side.
In the last minutes of the game, the IOW No8 broke through a number of tackles and after offloading to their back, they were soon threatening the Hurricanes 22. A penalty in between the 10m and 22 lines was converted to push the scores to 17-23 in the dying moments. The hosts attempted to attack from deep in the last play, but the ball was kicked into touch, and the spoils going to Sandown & Shanklin.
An entertaining game, that was end to end at points, the Hurricanes Captain Sam Rees stated he was delighted and relieved with the victory, but wanted to give fair kudos to the IOW lads for a hard game!
The Hurricanes now turn their attention to the Gales HSB Hampshire Plate, as they travel away to Fordingbridge. With no 2nd XV game next weekend, this will be a great opportunity for everyone that played in both games this weekend to stake a claim for a starting birth against Fordingbridge in the cup. We will also be taking a coach, so supporters are invited and encouraged to come along and support the boys on the road, please contact Sam Flux on 07792 649749 for a space (£15 per head). Times and pick up locations TBC.
SSRFC: 1. Henry Bagnall, 2. Zak Chiverton, 3. Darren Carew, 4. Luke Hunter, 5. Sam Flux, 6. Sam Rees (C), 7. Harry Hopper, 8. Harrison Booth, 9. Jacob Jordan, 10. Cameron Mitchell, 11. Michael Barrett, 12. David Graham, 13. Sam Tyson, 14. Jack Wedderkop, 15. Tom Borrer
Subs: 16. Ben Kulik, 17. Sam Branston, 18. Ben Shannon