So Sandown & Shanklin welcome Fareham Heathens for the final competitive fixture of 2018 to the Fairway, and what a year and season it has been up until now...
The Hurricanes continue to lead the way for rugby on the island, and reaching the mid way point in the Hampshire Premier, they hope to continue their form and direction in 2019. Following a disappointing semi-final loss in the Hampshire Plate last season, and finishing 5th in Hampshire 1, Sandown & Shanklin are flying high in 2nd position in Hampshire Premier, and had a fun cup run in the London & SE Junior Vase.
This weekend the Hurricanes will look to complete the double over visitors Fareham Heathens, who are off the back of an impressive home victory against Fordingbridge at home last Saturday. The last meeting between these two sides was the second fixture of this season, when the Hurricanes travelled to Fareham and picked up an impressive 7 - 31 victory on the road. Sandown & Shanklin last Saturday picked up an invaluable victory themselves, defeating Alresford away, highlighted as a potential banana skin fixture in the build up to the game.
Their is virtually a clean bill of health for the Hurricanes this week, with only Cameron Mitchell still not quite 100% with his twisted ankle. Captain Sam Flux managed 50 minutes off the bench in last weeks dramatic victory, and should return to the starting line up this week. Additionally this weeks selection is set to be quite a dilemma for Flux and Director of Rugby Damien Marriott, with a number of names in the reckoning for a starting berth. Damien had this to say ahead of Saturday:
"We have quite a few options to look at this week, which is a brilliant head ache to have. With the likes of Luke Hunter, Sam Branston and Josh Wetherick back in the fold after missing the Alresford game, it is going to put the pressure on the boys to compete for their places. It is a shame that the 2nd XV haven't got a game this weekend as well, as this would also prove how much competition we have at the moment, and also our improving squad depth.
Heathens won't be an easy task. They picked up a very impressive victory last week, against a very handy Fordingbridge team. So the opening 20 minutes are going to be a battle. We need to bring our best, and provide all the energy to come out on top of this one, and set up nicely for a big 2019."
The Clubhouse will be open from 12.00pm, with a Vice Presidents Lunch from 12.30pm
Kick off is at 2.00pm, and there will be a minutes silence before the game for former VP member Trevor Jones, who sadly passed away at the end of November.
After the game the SSRFC Christmas Party will be in full swing, and all are encouraged to wear their best Christmas Jumpers!