The opening exchanges were physical and intense as both teams explored the opposing defences, attempting to find a breakthrough. Industrious work by the Hurricanes forwards re-gained them possession in the opposition, the ball was spun wide and Man of the Match, Jack Wedderkop, crashed through the defensive line for the opening score, 7 – 0.
Some excellent pressure from the Hurricanes forwards and in particular Ben Shannon, charged down a kick which dropped into the hands of Wedderkop who then sprinted in unopposed for his second score, 12 – 0. Shortly after a third score came the way of the home side with the visitors defence stretched the ball came to Luke Hunter to sprint in and score. Sandown were then leading 19 – 0.
Despite the commanding position, the opposition fly-half intercepted and went the distance to put the visitors on the scoreboard. The momentum had swung away from the home side in a period of seconds with a score out of the blue, 19 – 5.
New Milton then came back moments later and were again threatening the Hurricanes 22. They had then found a gap in the defensive line out wide, and then a few phases later, crashed over the try line for their second score, cutting the score line to 19 – 10. Sandown & Shanklin soon scored again, this time through fullback, Ben Sanderson, who crashed over for the fourth try, for a 26 – 10 lead at the break.
The home side then set about trying to increase their lead and were camped outside the New Milton 22. The defence was breached with a clever move between Shannon and Chiverton, allowing Shannon to sprint in under the posts untouched.
Following the restart the Hurricanes broke free and were soon back in the New Milton. This time with the ball moved down the back line into the hands of winger Tom Borrer who went over in the corner. Becoming the 25th different try scorer for the Hurricanes this season, and now in a commanding 38 – 10 lead.
What came next was another change in the momentum of the game. This sustained period of pressure from New Milton eventually got them into the Sandown 22, and then a handful of phases later they had scored their third try of the game, the score now 38 – 15.
Despite being the ascendancy the next score came from the home side, Wedderkop was the quickest to react, dotting down under the posts for his hat-trick, and another converted try, 45 – 15.
New Milton, got themselves back into the game with their fourth try, 45 – 20.
In spite of the score from New Milton, the young Hurricanes side fired back with a quick double salvo of their own, in the last few moments. The first coming from winger Owen Williams, and the second coming from Borrer, scoring his second and Sandown & Shanklin’s 700th point of the season. The final whistle came and the Hurricanes had notched up an impressive 55 – 20 victory over New Milton RFC.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC 55 – 20 New Milton & District RFC
Sandown & Shanklin RFC are back in action next weekend when they travel to the New Forest to play rivals Fordingbridge RFC. Meanwhile the 2nd XV are at home defending the Fairway, welcoming Locksheath Pumas RFC 2nd XV, kick-off is set to be 15:00.
The full in depth match report can be found on the SSRFC website.