Hurricanes 2nd XV pick up a resounding win on the road - via a Newton Jnr Wonder Try!
Romsey RFC 2nd XV 12 - 38 Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV
Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV travelled away to Romsey for a re-scheduled game, and with the dark grey clouds holding back the rain, the muddy pitch set the tone for an afternoon of typical mid-January rugby! As neither side had a first-team fixture both sides were subsidised by first-team players which made for an equal match up.
The Hurricanes took the early initiative from the off, when Flux stepped through the Romsey defence and then fed the onrushing Damian Seder. Seder then showed great strength and pace to ward off defenders and dot down in the corner. The early conversion missed by 1st XV captain Sam Flux, 0 - 5. The visitor's pressure was amplified by another try from Number 8 Dean, following a charging run from second row Pete Swallow. The scoring wasn't all in the Hurricanes favour, following some bitty off the ball antics, play returned to the middle of the park and with Sandown & Shanklin on the attack captain Liam Little tried to move the ball away quickly only for his attempted offload to fall into the hands of the Romsey stand-off who showed brilliant pace to score, despite the best efforts of fullback Charles Little, 7 - 12.
However, this didn't dampen the Hurricanes mood, who struck right back before the half time break. After a period of strong carrying from the Sandown forwards, winger Wayne Williams came in off his wing to find a hole in the Romsey defence and then sprint away to splash down beside the posts. Flux converting, the away side took a 7 - 19 lead into the half time break.
After the half time break, the home side were desperate to find a route back into the game, after a sustained period of pressure and possession, soon found themselves on the Hurricanes 5m line. Next came a penalty in favour of the home side, and with a quick tap, they were soon in for their second try, 12 - 19.
With Sandown & Shanklin having a stern word under the posts, they fired back into the game, with flankers Dan Sayers and George Law impressing with strong tackling and carries to get the away side back into their flow. After a string of infringements by Romsey, were pinned back in their half by the boot of Ben Sanderson. The resulting line out and then catch drive were hard to stop, and presented good ball for Man of the Match Dean to again dot over, 12 - 26. This got Sandown & Shanklin firing again, and the pick of the tries came to the youngest member of the side, and Man of the Match Rob Newton Jnr, playing alongside his dad. Picking the ball up on the halfway line, Newton found a gap in the Romsey defence and slipped through it with his quick feet. Newton then continued his run and had the strength to bounce off the onrushing centre, then still managed to round the fast approaching full back. He crossed the whitewash to finish a well-earned try for the young centre. Flux, somehow managed to miss the simple conversion in front of the posts, provided by the young Hurricane, 12 - 31.
That didn't stop the scoring, with the game opening up with tired legs and space being found around the edges, the Hurricanes could have had a sixth try when Williams broke past the opposition winger. Attempting to beat the last defender with a 2 on 1, he passed to Simon Swallow, who then looked to return the ball to Williams. Unfortunately, the pass went to ground and the move fell apart.
However, it didn't stop Sandown & Shanklin from picking up the sixth try, when another strong lineout catch and drive was formed, No 8 Dean found himself on the end again, for his hat-trick of tries. Flux picking up the difficult conversion for a resounding 12 - 38 victory.
Sandown & Shanklin turn their attention to next weekend, when the 1st XV travel away to Millbrook RFC to cement their 2nd spot in Hampshire Premier, and the 2nd XV are at home to welcome Petersfield RFC 3rd to the Fairway, and look to continue their good form and climb up the table in Hampshire Division 4.