Sandown & Shanklin Defeat Isle of Wight, in a Muddy Derby Game
The Hurricanes defeated their local rivals, Isle of Wight, 15-9, in a wet and windy day at the Fairway Ground.
Part two of the local derby game between Sandown & Shanklin RFC and the Isle of Wight RFC took place this past Saturday. Conditions were less than ideal this weekend, as the usually high quality pitch of the Hurricanes, had unfortunately taken a battering from the relentless rainfall in the past week. This in turn resulted in a game dictated by the slippery conditions, however, both sides performed remarkably well and showed off some great handling skills in spite of the weather.
The Isle of Wight got off to the best of starts, when they took the lead with a penalty just short of 15 minutes into the game. With both sides trying to feel their way into the fixture with the conditions, the visiting side were getting a bit more territory in the early stages, with the aid of the breeze and the slope in their favour. Nevertheless, the Hurricanes rolled up their sleeves, to battle their way out of their own half, and when they started to put phases together, the away side infringed. This allowed Cam Mitchell to kick the home side into the IoW territory. The Hurricanes rolling maul was becoming a massive weapon, and becoming even harder to stop by the boys from Wootton. However, the battering ram that is Jack Wedderkop, who was deployed in midfield this week, was even harder, making a good number of strong runs into the heart of the IoW's defence.
Another infringement at the breakdown allowed Cameron to kick Sandown into the IoW's 22. With the maul again making good headway, the opposition defences managed to withhold the advances of the home side. The forwards began to batter down the door, and with carries from Sam Flux and Zak Chiverton held short, it would seem that the away sides defence was going to hold on. From an attack down the blind side, young prop Ben Shannon picked up the ball from the back of the ruck and dived over the try line for the first try of the game. Despite Tom Borrer's kick falling short, the Hurricanes had the lead and the initiative. With the Hurricanes dominating the possession and momentum of the game, they could not find another score as the IoW defence held firm.
The visitors converted another penalty attempt and nudged themselves back in front, 5-6. They could have extended their lead even further, had another attempt from range gone through the posts. After holding firm on the edge of their 22, the impressive man of the match, Harry Hopper, was stealing line out possession, and with a maul that walked the home side 20m up the pitch. The last moments of the first half were dramatic however, as an IW prop was sent to the bin following a quick tap from Jacob Jordan looking to make the most of the opposition not retreating, the prop lent into Jacob, preventing him from making any further headway. The first half ended 5-6 to the IoW.
The second half perhaps started a little more brightly for the visitors, holding on to possession and looking to stretch the home defences. Yet, when the possession came their way, the Hurricanes were ruthless. Making the most of the man advantage, swift handling from centre Jack and David Graham found Michael Cooper, who dashed over for the Hurricanes second score of the game and edging themselves back into the lead. Again the conditions causing issues for Tom Borrer, whose kick fell just wide. With their tails up and the momentum swinging in their favour, the Hurricanes urged on for another score. Some more great line out work from Harry Hopper and Sam Branston allowed the forwards to get up into the IoW territory again, and with some more strong running from Wedderkop and Hunter, the ball was spun wide into the hands of Dan Robinson, who scored in the corner to extend the home sides advantage. Another difficult kick could not be converted, but the lead was now 15-6.
The final quarter of the game was mostly played in the middle of the field, with the visitors searching for a way back into the game. Another converted penalty narrowed the score line to 15-9. Yet, this was to be the closest the away side would some to threatening any more points on the scoreboard. The tireless Hurricanes defence worked hard to prevent the IoW from getting headway, and only the penalty count, was costing the home side any traction they were getting, in attempting to launch further attacks.
With the result in the bag, and bragging rights for this season, the Hurricanes acknowledged the hard fought clash between the two sides, and the resilience of the IW to hold on throughout the game. The biggest lessons for the home side, being that despite all of their inventive and bright play, they need to be a lot more disciplined and stop giving away silly penalties that cost them some strong positions through the game.