Sandown & Shanklin RFC travelled across the Solent to play Tottonians in their re-arranged fixture on Saturday, after the original game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and the weather conditions a couple of weeks ago.
The Hurricanes didn’t get off to the best of starts, with the home side starting the brighter of the 2 teams. With the defence caught cold, the host’s scrum-half sniped through and scored the opening try of the game, 7-0.
Eventually, when the Hurricanes managed to string a few phases together, they had the Totts defence going backward, the strong running and footwork from Damian Seder and Harry Hopper was starting to cause the bigger Totts forwards issues. The ball was then spun down the line to Sam Flux, who then superbly offloaded to the onrushing Matt Miselbach who then finished the opportunity well. The conversion slid wide, but the Hurricanes were back into the game, 7-5.
However, the home side struck back moments later, slotting a penalty kick over to extend the margin, 10-5, as the Sandown penalties were again starting to hurt their momentum.
As the first half wore, the Hurricanes were able to pick holes in the Totts defence and use their stamina and handling ability to out manoeuvre the host’s defensive line. Another attack down the blindside and quick handling from centres Tyson and Miselbach got the ball into Ben Sanderson’s hands, who then finished. The conversion missed, but the Hurricanes were back on level terms, 10-10.
The visitors finished the half with a flourish, following some great work by the forwards up front, followed by another Flux offload to Owen Williams, who flirted with the touchline and last-ditch tackles but sprinted away and then under the posts for the third Hurricanes try of the game. Flux converted and this put the Hurricanes into the lead at the half time break, 10-17.
The second half began with the Hurricanes looking to increase their margin, however, Totts had scored a breakaway try under the posts, against the run of play, and levelled the scores with the successful conversion, 17-17.
As the second half settled into a rhythm, the ill-discipline from the Hurricanes was still hurting their advances, as it allowed the home side the ability to clear their lines. Moments later, following some strong running from Martin Richomme and Sam Rees, the away side had accrued a penalty just outside the Totts 22. Flux elected to kick the penalty, and Sandown & Shanklin had edged themselves back into the lead, 17-20.
With space out wide, the ball found its way to, Man of the Match, Matt Miselbach’s hands, he barged over for his second score of the game. The conversion successful, 17-27.
In the dying moments of the game, a well-claimed line out by Damian Seder saw the Hurricanes work their way up to the Tottonians five-metre line. The ball was moved wide into the midfield, a switch phase found prop Ben Shannon in acres of space, for him then to score. Flux converted to end the game 17-34. The Hurricanes regained 2nd spot in the Hampshire Premier table, following last week’s defeat to Bognor RFC who had overtaken them.
Tottonians RFC 2nd XV 17 – 34 Sandown & Shanklin RFC
Sandown & Shanklin return to action this Saturday (2nd March) when they welcome New Milton & District RFC to the Fairway. Kick-off is at 15:00. The 2nd XV are on the road to Fordingbridge RFC 2nd XV, and look to continue their good form of late.
The full match report can be found on the SSRFC wbsite.