Sandown & Shanklin 2nd XV Taste Defeat in tight Affair Despite the Final Score
Locksheath Pumas RFC 2nd XV 50 - 21 Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV
On a bitterly cold day only a couple of degrees above freezing 14 Hurricanes made the short trip across the solent and back down into Locksheath to play top of the table Locksheath Pumas. The game started off as a 15 vs 14 men affair with the visitors a man down from the off although both packs were filled and scrums contested. The toss was won by locksheath who chose their end giving Sandown & Shanklin the kick off.
A high, deep kick from debutant Hurricane, Mitch Farrant presented the hosts with early possession which was ran back at the onrushing defence hard. After some missed tackles by the visitors, the hosts found themselves through the gaps and bearing down on the try line. Following some smart handling and well timed offloads the Pumas had an early score followed by another successive try. This was clearly not the start the Hurricanes had wanted, but easy to imagine after catching the visitors short, who had to suffer a shortened warm up due to a ferry issue! The Hurricanes tightened up after the early scores and led by Andrew “Woody” at the breakdown and Man of the Match Dan Sayers, and strong tackling from Stand off Charles Little and mercurial winger Barny Thomas, meant that no further points were conceded for a period.
After turning over ball after ball at the breakdown the visiting team went on the rampage and off the back of three quick phases found themselves at the halfway line. Quick handling found the ball into the centres to provide Sayers with an opportunity to run at the home sides defence. The flanker/come inside centre ran in his first of the match from 50m beating three despairing defenders. With the cold sapping energy, a territorial battle between the two sides became intense. The most impressive of which came from wily full-back and Club Captain Simon Swallow, who relieved the pressure for the travellers on numerous occasions and gained territory with the Hurricanes having a more successful line-out. The hosts went into the break in the lead but not yet out of the tie the Hurries were boosted by the arrival of their 15th man, Camberley 1st XV player and brother in-law if the aforementioned Farrant, Lewis Bryant who immediately made an impact coming on in the back row and tipping the scales in the visitors favour in the tightly-contested scrums.
Strong carries by Bryant in the second half, as well from the father and son combination in the second row, Pete and Andrew Swallow, put the Hurricanes on the front foot. This allowed the halfback duo of the Little Brothers to provide quick ball to wingers Harrison Fyffe and Thomas whose strong straight-line and mazy runs respectively set up another opportunity for Sayers, who brushed through tackles and dotted the ball down for Sandown & Shanklin.
Some intense Hurricanes pressure followed amped up by the drop-goal conversion of goal-kicking Farrant and the dominating restart the visitors enjoyed. Although nothing came from the sustained pressure other than a Locksheath yellow for handling at the ruck after several warnings and an obscure show of dexterity and poise by back rower George Law to do the splits after slipping when stepping an opponent. The hosts went on to score a couple later tries in reply to the effort of Bryant, who crashed over for a score of his own. On a day of great endeavour from the away side, the control and ball handling ability from the hosts was just too much to handle in the end.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC 2nd XV now turn their attention to another trip on the road, when they travel to Tottonians to take on their Vets side, who sit just 4 four places below the Hurricanes.