This was the inaugural game of the season for the Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV after not being able to take a full team to Fordingbridge RFC the previous week. The conditions were set for some old-fashioned style of rugby union with continuous rain making the handling difficult from the off.
The Hurricanes won the toss and decided to kick with one time Hurricane Adam Pratt blasting a low driven drop-kick deep into the Eastleigh half. The early fumble from visitors gave the home side possession high up the field after the well won scrum. The ball was shipped out and after an infringement at the breakdown, Sandown & Shanklin soon had another scrum just outside the opposition 22. The scrums from here on out were uncontested with an Eastleigh front rower dropping early and no replacements to boot. The Hurricanes prodded and poked around the 22 until they got just 5 metres out but with numerous attacks from stand in fly half Ed Blake, towering lock James Green and 2nd team captain Liam Little. The Eastleigh defence stood resilient, however, after some measured slow ball, a pass went out wide of three awaiting players to hooker Mark Tucker who rounded an defending prop to slide over for the first try of the match. The extras were added by drop goal from Captain Little. This opened the game up and a few short Eastleigh crash balls after the re-start found them 20 metres out with width on their side. The conditions played their part again, alongside a good rush Hurricanes defence as another visiting attack was dispelled. The hosts then replied, with a barnstorming try from rapid blindside flanker Dan Sayers who shrugged off three defenders to cross the whitewash.
A well worked Eastleigh try followed with the ball being shipped outside to score in the corner and the conversion slotted to draw the visitors closer. The final 20 minutes were tense for both teams with each team pushing for the win. With a player down on the Eastleigh side, the Sandown & Shanklin skipper gifted a try to the opposition winger to even up the contest 14 - 14. And the Hurricanes scored soon after with a great combination from Veteran forwards Paul Laidler and Peter swallow with a combined age of 91. The former scoring late in the corner to clinch the tie for the Hurries 19-14, no extras added this time. The tie was called early due to a nasty broken nose but both teams fought it out well and can be proud of their display.
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.