Sandown & Shanklin welcomed Farnborough RFC to the Fairway and looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss the previous weekend, away to Alresford.
A fast start saw the Hurricanes break up the field and put early pressure on the Farnborough defence, as a penalty earned the hosts a line out the opposition five-metre line. It was obvious the visitors weren’t intent on messing around and a frenetic start was confirmed when the Farnborough winger scored in the corner and put the Hurricanes behind early on, 0-7.
It didn’t take long for the home side to get their first score. Some excellent running lines from the forwards had created the space out wide for the backline to explore, and some swift handling got the ball in Wedderkop’s hands. The centre then powered through to score, however, unfortunately, injured himself in the process and ruled him out from the remainder of the game, 5-7.
Another smartly caught line out was driven and with the ball at the back of the maul, Chiverton was surged over to score the second try of the game for the home side. This put the Hurricanes into the lead after an energetic opening quarter of the game, 10-7.
An Additional catch and drive at the line out was held short, and the ball spun into midfield, where Barrett and Tyson punctured the defence. With a quick recycle of possession, the ball was passed to Williams, who used his pace to explode through a gap and dot down. Flux converted to increase the margin, 17-7.
Following a succession of penalties, a Farnborough player was sent to the sin bin and with the man advantage, Flux elected for a scrum just over seven metres from the line. This provided the perfect opportunity for the ‘dangerous running’ of Alex Smith to pick from the base of the scrum and barge over for Sandown’s fourth try before the half time break. Flux converted, to make the scores 24-7.
In the final moments of the half, Farnborough strived to find a way back into the game. After a short period of pressure on the Sandown 22, a penalty was accrued and converted to send the teams into the half time break at, 24-10.
Excellent work from Branston and Rees ensured the momentum was in the home sides favour, and as the Farnborough defence splintered, the ball was passed out to Barrett to score, 29-10.
Off the restart, the Hurricanes broke upfield, through the dynamic running of young winger Rob Newton Jnr and lock Damian Seder. With the quick ball, a fine midfield move involving Tyson and Barrett, set Williams free to score his second of the game, 36-10. The visitors did stem the flow of tries against them, by scoring their second of the game. With the ball in the 22, and trying to play enterprising rugby, a telegraphed offload from Cooper, saw the Farnborough winger steal the ball and score, 36-17.
A fine midfield move initiated by Williams, saw the defence fixed and created space for the fly-half to sprint around the defenders to provide an easy score for full-back Borrer to dot down. The conversion was taken by Tyson, just slid past the post, 41-17.
Quick service from Scovell saw the onrushing Carew score under the posts, pushing the Hurricanes lead to 48-17.
The visitors then turned up the intensity and managed to find the energy to score two tries of their own, to secure the try bonus point, 48-27.
The final score of the game was left to the home side. Man of the Match, Oliver Scovell in his first start and home debut provided excellent service to his halfback partner Williams and the Hurricanes all day, helping get the team on the front foot consistently.
With the defence in disarray, a penalty on the five-metre was tapped quickly by Flux and passed to Williams. Vision and quick hands from Williams and Tyson set Barrett free to score in the corner. Flux converted, 55-27, with barely much time left on the clock to resume.
Sandown & Shanklin RFC 55 – 27 Farnborough RFC
The Hurricanes next weekend (Feb 1) make the short trip over to Eastleigh to play their 2nd XV. Meanwhile, the 2nd XV are back in action and face a season-defining fixture against Locksheath Pumas RFC 2nd XV.
Contributed match report