Hurricanes Blow Away Portsmouth RFC 2nd XV
Sandown & Shanklin RFC kicked off the new Hampshire Premier season in style, with an 86 - 5 victory.
With the predicted rain holding off and rays of sunshine bursting through the clouds, the conditions for the first Hampshire Premier League fixture at the Fairway were decent.
The Hurricanes were in decent shape, at least managing one pre-season fixture before this game and with new Director of Rugby Damien Marriott at the helm through the off-season hopes were high for the start of the season. Although, prior to the game a late pull-out from the starting line up from Sam Tyson, meant for a re-jig of the starting XV, you could tell rugby was back on the agenda on Saturday morning!
Portsmouth RFC elected to play up the hill in the first half, and with the hosts kicking to them, Cam Mitchell got precedings underway. It didn't take long for the first score of the season, when scrum-half Jacob Jordan, in one of his last home outings before going to university dotted down. It was clear that the visitors were struggling to keep up with the Hurricanes phase play and intensity as the home side went on to score another three tries in the space of the first quarter. Two more Jacob Jordan scores sandwiched a Harrison Booth five pointer, and the Hurricanes had a 24 point lead and their scrum-half was already on his hat-trick. The spaces in the visitors defence were getting bigger and bigger, as the carrying from man of the match Ben Shannon and hooker Zak Chiverton was causing the defence to suck into the breakdown. A quick period of quick hands found second-row Damian Seder in space and he darted to the line and scored, 31-0. A loose kick-off from the Portsmouth stand-off was received and delivered to inside centre Jack Wedderkop, who went on a mazy run from inside his own 22 to go the length and score. Feeling slightly outdone, the following restart, Zak Chiverton replicated a similar lengthy break, although was brought down just inside the opposition 22 this time around. However, a few handful of phases later and veteran winger Josh Wetherick dotted down and jinking past a couple of defenders, to provide the home side with a 45-0 lead at the break.
Desperate to not the let the score line get to them and keep the momentum flowing, Chiverton got the first score of the second half, after another break from a fair way out, this time managing to go the distance. Tom Borrer converted, presenting a 52 point haul. A few minutes later, Jack Wedderkop had secured his brace, with another wonderful effort down the wing, 57 - 0. At this moment in the game the visitors were fed up and starting to niggle into the breakdown and the tackle. A poor restart take by the Hurricanes was compounded a few phases later with a Portsmouth push over try. During this build up replacement Darren Carew was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. The score didn't stifle the Sandown & Shanklin play and debutante Owen Williams scored his first try in Hurricanes colours. The visitors were putting up more a fight in the midfield, quite literally, dragging in Sandown players to attempt to break up the flow of the game. Further tries from Harrison Booth and Zak Chiverton however, drove home the advantage even more. After finding themselves in another midfield attacking opportunity, captain Sam Flux found replacement Luke Hunter in space who went on a rampaging run down the wing. Managing to maintain his feet, he then brushed passed the last Portsmouth defender and scored. The final score of the game came from Williams, using his pace to step around a defender and score, 86 - 5. The game came to a close following another scrap instigated by the visitors, after a scrap in the ruck was started. Captain Sam Flux thanked the Portsmouth boys post game for sticking in and not completely giving up, and looked forward to visiting them at the end of the season.
Sandown & Shanklin now turn their attention to Fareham Heathens next weekend (Saturday 15th September), and look to continue their form. Director of Rugby Damien Marriott, was positive with the result, however added that there was still plenty to work on for next weekend and also the season ahead, to maintain their goals.