Basingtoke RFC 50-0 Sandown and Shanklin RFC 1XV
Sandown & Shanklin made the trip up the county to Basingstoke RFC, for a top of the table clash, with both teams making a perfect start to the season, winning five games each and sitting top of Hampshire Premier on 23 points each.
A fine sunny afternoon for a late October fixture, the Basingstoke pitch was immaculate and hopes were high for only the third meeting between both clubs. The outcome of the fixture most likely dictating which side will lead the way for the winter/Christmas period.
The Hurricanes received the first kick off, and playing into the glaring sun for the first half, they set about trying to play some expansive rugby from the off. The physicality from the hosts disrupted any momentum that Sandown & Shanklin attempted to create and was causing them to go onto the back foot. Strong work at the set piece, did keep the Hurricanes in the game. A much bigger Basingstoke pack had been revered for its scrum in their previous games, yet strong work from the front five and the front row of Martin Richomme, Zak Chiverton and Ben Shannon meant that the home side weren’t going to have it all their own way.
Basingstoke, did manage to work their way to a 30 – 0 lead at the halftime break. It didn’t go bye without the Hurricanes not attempting to score. Adam Tyas having a try ruled out for knocking it on over the line as he was tackled. However, some great build-up play in the phases prior to the non-try were the Hurricanes back towards their best, with man of the match Cameron Mitchell consistently causing issues for the ‘Stoke defence.
Sadly, Sandown also lost young prop Ben Shannon to injury, midway through the first half, dislocating his shoulder in contact.
The second half was a much tighter affair, as the Hurricanes pressed hard to gain something from the disappointing first half. Some great phases of play from centres Jack Wedderkop and Ben Sanderson, as they scythed through the defensive line, however, the final phase or pass could not be made and with tiring support and lack of resourcing, usually resulted in being turned over in possession. Basingstoke were not making the easy yards they were in the first half, however as they brought on their bench to keep the momentum going and legs fresh, this began to tell. The home side extending their margin to 50-0 by the end of the 80 minutes.
Director of Rugby Damian Marriott shared his views following the game:
“Before the game everything felt right, the great weeks worth of training, strong squad traveling, had smooth sailing and great coach journey on the way over. Everyone felt positive and in upbeat mood that come 5pm we would still be top of the league.
Straight from the kick-off Basingstoke ripped into us and showed us why only three years ago they were in London 1. Everything we felt to be the best in the league, was second best today and clearly, they had done their homework on us. They knew our runners targeted, our scrums and lineouts, which up until today have been impressive in the league so far.
Speaking to Basingstoke coaches they felt everything went right for them on the day, the odd 50-50 call went in their favour, we dropped a ball over the try line at a crucial moment and we didn’t take our opportunities when they came around. When Basingstoke had the ball, they looked dangerous and more experienced to playing far better opponents and importantly took their opportunities. That was the difference, I’m excited about the rematch in January, where we will be a much better side then we were today.
Now this team has to show the bounce-back-ability starting with training on Tuesday. I feel sorry for the opposition that will come to us next week as we will be firing on all cylinders.”
The Hurricanes have the opportunity to put the two recent losses behind them with a home game this weekend (Saturday 27th October) against Bognor RFC. Kick-off at 3.00pm at the Fairway.