Sandown & Shanklin made the journey over to the New Forest for a tough away trip to New Milton. A tough prospect for any team on the road, the Hurricanes knew a physical and intense 80 minutes were ahead to attempt to maintain their 100% start to the league campaign.
An early penalty for the Hurricanes gave them a lineout five metres out from the New Milton try line, the catch and drive was held just short, but hooker Zak Chiverton peeled away from the back and bundled over for the first score, 0 - 5. Following the restart, the away side were back in the hosts half and some quick recycling of possession at the breakdown created an overlap on the blindside and space for Chiverton to secure his brace in no time at all. Flux converted this time, 0 - 12.
Moments later the visitors received the ball from the restart, this being one of the cleaner takes at the restart. The ball was spun wide and the Hurricanes attack outflanked the New Milton defence to set Zak Chiverton free for a gallop down the wing. He was brought down inside the opposition 22, and another carry from the returning Wedderkop carried the momentum in the Hurricanes attack. Moments later the ball made its way to Wayne Williams who powered over for his first score of the game. Flux converted pushing the Hurricanes advantage to 0 - 19.
It wasn't all the Hurricanes way however, with the home team rallying and keeping hold of possession, they rolled around the corner several times for their forwards to dot down, 7 - 19. This score brought Sandown & Shanklin back to down to Earth and set about running through their phases to build momentum and work their way back into New Milton territory. After being repelled a few times, a New Milton scrum was put under pressure and with the ball squirting out the back, quick thinking from Tom Borrer to snap up possession and then feed the onrushing Wayne Williams put the visitors back into the right mindset. The conversion sliding wide in the windy conditions, 7 - 24.
A moment's later the away side were back in the hosts 22, and another powerful catch and drive by the Hurricanes made headway, but was halted for an infringement from the opposition forwards. A quick tap penalty from Captain Sam Flux fed Darren Carew, to barrel his way over the try line for the Hurricanes fifth try of the half. Flux converted to increase their lead to 7 - 31.
Another quick tap penalty from centre Sam Tyson caught the home defence unaware and using the hands to get the ball to winger Harry Miselbach in space, Miselbach then used his impressive speed to sprint in from 60 metres out. The conversion narrowly missed, but the Hurricanes were up, 7 - 36.
The last score of the half came from the home side. As the Hurricanes pushed their luck trying to play too much rugby in their own half, losing possession and the home side making the most of having the ball and playing through a few phases, they eventually created an overlap to score out wide. Leaving the score at half time 14 - 36.
The second half Sandown & Shanklin looked to reign in their all-out attack from everywhere, and build through the phases, as they were leaving themselves open when trying to play too fast. Man of the Match Tom Borrer, helped dictate the pace of the game from scrum-half and guide his forwards around the park.
This paid off, when strong carrying from the front row of Chiverton, Richomme, and Williams. This created space for Damian Seder to break away and score, off the back of some superb handling from Flux and Matt Miselbach to send the rangy second-row free, 14 - 41.
Minutes later the Hurricanes were back in attack, and following some powerful drives from substitutes Dawson and Rees, quick ball was generated and fly-half Owen Williams fed Jack Wedderkop who charged through the opposition defence to power for a score. Flux converted from out wide, 14 - 48.
Two more tries were scored via the dynamic Hurricanes back row. Firstly, Number 8 Matt Miselbach powering his way over the try line following some excellent handling from the Sandown backline to create the space, 14 - 55. Secondly, Harry Hopper, when a sharp break from winger Michael Barrett took the Hurricanes into the New Milton 22, a quick recycle at the breakdown presented the flanker with an easy dive over the line, under the posts to score. Flux converting, 14 - 60.
A third try came from a third player securing a brace of tries, this time winger Harry Miselbach getting in on the act and finishing off in the corner for a superb second score, 14 - 67.
The home side scored again in the second half - looking to get themselves something from the game. They drove over late on, when their forwards persevered to edge up to the Hurricanes try and line and eventually ship the ball wide to score, 19 - 67.
The final score of the tie came from replacement Rob Newton Jnr. With the phases working well, the ball was brought back across the field to the opposite wing and the young back did well to power over with two defenders on him to score the Hurricanes final try. Flux converted the difficult conversion, kicking with a broken kicking tee all day, to bring the game to an end, 19 - 74.
Final words from Director of Rugby, Damien Marriott, who was pleased with the performance from the Hurricanes:
“Great to see the attack went well for us again, and to score the number of tries we did for the second week on the bounce, it is really pleasing to see. Defensively, I know we conceded 19 points, but the boys put in an incredible amount of work, especially when you’re coming away from home against a side the quality of New Milton, you know they always come out all guns blazing.”
A sublime weekend for the Club, as both teams racked up a massive combined score! This coming week, the Hurricanes welcome Alresford RFC to the Fairway, with former player Jacob Jordan potentially playing against his old club. Kick-off at 3.00pm. The Mighty 2nd XV travel over to Fareham to play Heathens 2nd XV and maintain their 100% start to the season.