Sandown & Shanklin earn gritty victory over tough Millbrook side
Sandown & Shanklin RFC picking up a last minute try bonus point to win 19 – 33.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC travelled away for the return fixture of the Millbrook game that took place earlier in the season and the Hurricanes won at home, 22 – 16 in atrocious conditions. The first time back out on the field since the defeat to league leaders Basingstoke, Sandown & Shanklin were hoping to get back into winning ways, and maintain their 2nd spot in Hampshire Premier, but knew the hosts would be a tough prospect on their patch.
Millbrook got off to possibly the best start possible, catching the Hurricanes napping with an early try around the edges of their defence. With the conversion successful the away side were already facing a 7 – 0 deficit to overcome. This didn’t dampen the momentum of the visitors, however, once they finally had hold of possession. With fly-half Cameron Mitchell directing traffic, and the Hurricanes starting to stretch the pitch with their play, penalties were starting to arise in favour of the visitors, as the hosts became too eager to compete at the breakdown. This presented the opportunity for Flux to convert an early penalty and get the Hurricanes on the scoreboard.
Sandown & Shanklin claimed possession from the restart and were soon back in the Millbrook territory thanks to strong running from centres Jack Wedderkop and Sam Tyson. With another penalty coming the way of the away team, this time the penalty was kicked into the corner for the line out. A well-caught line out and strong set maul presented the opportunity for the man of the match, Harry Hopper to score, and for Flux to convert to provide a 7 – 10 lead.
Despite the upturn in momentum, the Hurricanes could not prevent the hosts from scoring, and again catching the away side cold, when they found numbers down the blind side and put their flanker away to score. The conversion successful the lead of the game swung back in favour of Millbrook, 14 – 10. Nevertheless, Sandown & Shanklin rolled up their sleeves and returned into Millbrook territory, and again were presented with the opportunity to kick a penalty into touch for the line out. Another well-set maul from the line
The second half began with perhaps a change of fortune, with the Hurricanes kicking off the Millbrook second row knocked on the catch, however, a player in front of him then picked up the ball in an offside position presenting the Hurricanes with a penalty inside the hosts 22. Kicked to the corner and the resulting line-out catch and drive halted short of the try line, the blind side was left empty for prop Martin Richomme to dive over and extend the visitors lead to 14 – 22, with the conversion going awry.
This would signal the end of the Hurricanes attacking play for a long period, as the hosts set about trying to find a way back into the fixture. Millbrook battered away at the Sandown & Shanklin defensive line, and some excellent tackling from Hopper and Harry Bagnall was helping to keep the home side at bay. Some excellent work at the breakdown by Ben Shannon gave a penalty to the Hurricanes and allowed them to clear their lines. Some strong running from Wayne Williams and Sam Rees got Sandown into the Millbrook half, and when play got outside the hosts 22, another penalty came the way of the visitors. Flux converted the penalty to edge the Hurricanes up to 14 – 25.
This spurred the Millbrook side onto to find a way back into the game, and ten minutes later, eventually had barged their way over the try line to cut the score to 19 – 25, following a Zak Chiverton spell in the sin bin. Sadly once the hooker came back into the fray later in the game, he suffered a serious knee injury which will keep the in-form hooker out of action for a few weeks. With Adam Tyas and Greg Dean into the action, Millbrook
Director of Rugby
Damien Marriott shared his thoughts after the game:
“I am delighted to that we managed to come back with five points, especially after snatching the bonus point right at the death that was pleasing. The score-line flatters the game a bit, as it was a tough and physical affair, but you cannot take away the effort and work-rate the boys put into defending for last 15 minutes. With what felt like every decision going against us, it goes to show what great character we have. And then the ability to turn the screw, with the game taken away from Millbrook and finish with a brilliant try and wrapping up the try bonus point – just shows this teams ability to always keep fighting until the end.”
Another break week this Saturday (2nd February), with no league action for either Sandown & Shanklin side. The Club has been invited to put a team (or teams) into a Touch Rugby Tournament at Isle of Wight RFC, to help prepare the Wight Wolves for their first league tournament. More details can be found here – Wight Wolves host Island mixed touch rugby tournament
League action returns on the 9th February, with the 1st XV travelling away to Tottonians RFC 2nd XV and the 2nd XV making the massive “away” trip to Ventnor RFC 2nd XV, looking to continue their excellent form as of late.