Sandown & Shanklin Pick up Impressive Victory on the Road
The Hurricanes win 18 - 41 away from home, as they continue their winning ways in the League.
The Hurricanes travelled to the New Forest to play old foes New Milton RFC, the hosts sitting in the middle of the table looking to get their season back on track, following a few early defeats. Sandown & Shanklin were in need of reinforcing their 2nd spot in the league, with Fordingbridge and Bognor both attempting to chase down the island side.
The visitors got off to an intense and purposeful start. As the forward packs attempted to get the measure of one another the hosts forwards infringed and provided the opportunity for Cameron Mitchell to kick the Hurricanes deep into the New Milton 22. A customary strong maul from the visitors forced the home sides defence backwards, and as the forwards broke for the line, were held short. Scrum half Jacob Jordan gathered the ball and sniped, finding a gap in the defensive line, he got Sandown & Shanklin off to a perfect start. Flux converted, for an early 0 - 7 lead.
It didn't take long for the Hurricanes to score again, after gathering the ball from the restart and then out flanking the defence, they were soon back in the New Milton 22. As the ball was spun wide by the backs, Tyson found his centre partner in crime, Jack Wedderkop on a short line and cut through the defence for the Hurricanes second score. Converted by Flux, 0 - 14.
With the momentum firmly in the favour of the visitors, they set about extending their winning margin, and moments later had earned a penalty in the New Milton 22 and Flux duly converted to push the Sandown & Shanklin lead up to 17 points.
By this point the home side fired into action, and scored two penalties of their own to cut the deficit and get themselves into the game. This however, could not falter the momentum of the Sandown & Shanklin play. Some great handling from the forwards and man of the match Matt Miselbach, returning from a year of travelling alongside his younger brother Harry, the visitors were soon threatening the New Milton 22 again. After the quick ball was generated, Cameron Mitchell released the on charging Rob Newton, who barrelled his way through three tackles to dot down. Although the most painful part for Rob was the fact, he injured his ribs during the act of scoring! Flux again converted, and the Hurricanes increased their points tally, 6 - 24.
The final score of the half came courtesy of the home side, who managed to out flank the Sandown & Shanklin defence off the back of a smart line out move, with the try converted the score at the half time break was 13 - 24.
The second half started with the home side working hard trying to get back into the game, however after around ten minutes the hosts had two quick yellow cards in their forwards. One for bad language, the other pulling Damian Seder's hair, as a Sandown & Shanklin maul was working its way toward the New Milton try line. This two man advantage was capitalised on by the Hurricanes. Following a poor clearance kick from the hosts, which ricocheted off several players, the ball fortunately popped up into Cameron Mitchell's hands. With some work still to the, the fly half stepped the final defender, and then fended the on rushing defence to score in the corner. The conversion fading wide, the Hurricanes were in a commanding position, 29 - 13.
Sandown & Shanklin then looked to continue piling on the pressure on the home side as they were two men down. The visitors went close with another score, again following some scintillating handling and interplay between the forwards and backs, Sam Tyson was within metres of the try line, yet the New Milton flanker made a last ditch tackle which dislodged the ball from Sam's hands. Nevertheless, a few phases later, man of the match Ben ' Goosey' Sanderson scored his second try in as many games, capping a great performance from the stand in fullback. This try also notching up the 50th try of the season for the Hurricanes! A similar position as Cameron's previous try, this time around Flux converted from the tee, to all but secure the result for the visitors, 13 - 36.
This wasn't the final score of the game, as the Hurricanes looked to put the game beyond all doubt in the final quarter. With the home side back up to a full complement of players, they were caught defending too narrow, following another strong line out catch and drive. The quick possession was spun wide, and with an overlap and acres of space to sprint into, Jack Wedderkop dived over in the corner for his second of the game. The conversion grazing the post, the Hurricanes had an unassailable 13 - 41 margin.
Despite the scoreline the home side forwards didn't give up and were pushed to gain some consolation from the game late one. Some excellent tackling from Harry Hopper and substitute Jack Winter helped kept the home attack at bay. Although New Milton did manage to gain a reward for their efforts with a try late on in the game, 18 - 41.
Final words from Director of Rugby, Damien Marriott, who was pleased with the performance from the Hurricanes:
Going away to New Milton is never easy. Looking back through recent results here, we have always struggled coming here. We knew their pack is an important part of their game plan, so bulking up ours was important. The inclusion of the silver fox Rob Newton, Matt Miselbach and Sam Rees, who each played very important roles in securing a huge victory of us. Our pack just raised their game for the occasion gave our backs the platform to perform and allowed Cam to again sit in his armchair pulling strings bringing in the back three nicely. Ben 'Goosey' Sanderson was excellent, always on the end of the attacks, causing havoc, and really growing in confidence - giving us some huge selection headaches for the coming weeks.
The next week is going to be exciting, as we build up to a cup game next Saturday. It is a great opportunity to show off our strength in-depth and will hopefully allow us to look at players in new positions, try out new combinations and even give returning players from injury that all important game time. It will allow us to keep the squad fresh and fit for the big challenge that awaits us the following week at home against high flyers Fordingbridge.
Sandown & Shanklin turn their attention to Purley John Fisher RFC in the Junior Vase, on Saturday 10th November. A fixture that used to take play in South West 3 and will ensure some great rugby will be played between the two sides.