Sandown and Shanklin 2XV start their season with a bumper victory
It was the pick of the week’s weather on Saturday afternoon, when the Hurricanes 2nd XV [Sandown and Shanklin RFC] welcomed their first home game of the season against eagerly anticipated foes Eastleigh RFC.
The Hurricanes started and elected to have the sun to their backs and Eastleigh got us underway with a high long looping kick that came tumbling down in the Hurricanes 22. The ball was recovered by the visiting winger who rose high enough to claim the high ball and who surged toward the try line, coming only inches away from scoring straight off the kick-off. A couple of forwards phases from the visitors gave the hosts time to set a strong defensive line that repelled the attack and forced a knock-on. From the resulting scrum, the home team were awarded a penalty and standoff Jack Sothcott attempted to find touch. His kick, however, didn’t quite find the whitewash and Eastleigh looked to counter from the halfway. A great chase by winger Charles Little meant that the counter-attack was slowed and the host’s defence could close the visitors down.
The Hurricanes turned the ball over in the centre of the park with some excellent work from Dan Sayers and Neil Adcock at the breakdown. This gave the home side their first attacking platform to move the ball away from the ruck. Captain Liam Little, got a good pass out to Sothcott who was able to feed hooker Ben Kulik on the inside to crash through two tackles, one because of his awesome angled run and the second man was handed off powerfully and unable to make a challenge. Kulik went through to round the fullback and score, Tom Borrer added the extras in what would be a long day as dead-ball specialist, 7 – 0.
Three more tries came in quick succession, following a fumbled opportunity in the corner from Neil Adcock, playing against his former side, who received a poor pass by Little at 9. The resulting line out was not cleared properly by the away side, and Sandown gained a scrum from it. Five metres out from the try line, this enabled them to move the ball wide for Sam Buckingham’s first involvement and score. Borrer missing a difficult kick, 12 – 0. At the kick off again the ball was kicked deep and ran in hard at the first phase.
After that, the backs had a chance to play and it was Buckingham again breaking through the line and beating all but the recovering winger. Yet, Buckingam still managing to get the pass away to Zak Chiverton playing in the centres for the first time all season, who managed to run in for his try, which was nicely converted, 19 – 0. Eastleigh seemed not to be able to handle the hosts pressure and speed of play and as such, some of their bigger pack were taking longer to recover from tackles and breakdowns. Another quick try by evergreen flanker Sam Dawson put the Hurricanes in the driving seat at half time, 26 – 0. The half was then called one minute early due to the injuries.
Because so many players were injured Eastleigh asked the game be shortened to 60 minutes. The hosts also kindly lent the visitors some players to make up their numbers. After the restart, the visitors were smothered by the home team who seemed to puncture the defensive line at will. This time, Sothcott decided to get in on the act and went over for his first try of the season, 33 – 0.
From the restart, the ball was plucked out of the air excellently by Martin Richomme who shrugged off two defenders, before showing great pace to get through the line. The visitor’s fly-half tried to get back and make a tackle but was held at arms reach by the marauding prop as he popped the ball out back of his hand without looking to the onrushing Sam Rees on the switch in what was definitely the pass of the match. Rees scored to push the advantage to 38-0, no extras this time.
A further two tries from the kick-off put the game beyond Eastleigh in this abridged format. The first was an excellent take by Dan Sayers who managed to rise above all else and catch the high call in the sun and shrugged off three men after landing, he picked his gap and went for it and using his blistering pace, and mazy-running to beat all defenders and score under the posts. The score now, 45 – 0 with the conversion form Borrer.
The Eastleigh forwards may as well no have moved as this time it was Jack Winter taking the high ball who crashed it into two defenders and made it through the other side. He then offloaded to Richomme to score a try of his own try which again was taken in stylish fashion. 50-0.
A second-half hat-trick was completed for Sam Buckingham when the home side managed to spin the ball out wide to the backs. Then using his pace Buckingham ran one into the corner, then off the restart, the same happened again although Buckinham switched with C Little close to the line to go inside to score 60 – 0.
As the game was coming to a close the hurricanes donated more players but made no intentions of slowing down. Again from the kick-off Sayers went on a mazy, handing off all in his path and breaking the last tackle of the fullback to put the score up to 65 – 0. Michael Cooper made an early start for the 2’s this season and even though not at full fitness managed to get in the tries and even converted his own to put the scores at 72 – 0.
The final act of the game was a well-worked game that saw two runners charge inside fooling the Eastleigh defence however the ball was floated out to Buckingham who obliged and trundled over to make it 77 – 0.
An excellent start to the season for the Hurricanes 2nd XV, and onto the next game, the local derby against Ventnor RFC 2nd XV, down at the Fairway, kick-off at 3.00pm.