Shanklin’s Dan Robinson tries to break through Tom Monks in support. Picture by Peter Boam.
RUGBY Sandown and Shanklin 11, Weybridge Vandals 22
SANDOWN’S survival hopes did not improve last weekend when they lost to a 22-11 defeat at home to promotion hopefuls, Weybridge, in a penalty-ridden match.
Sandown welcomed back captain Joe Rees on the subs’ bench but the rest of the team seemed to leave their minds in the changing room, as on two minutes and four minutes, Sandown infringed to gift two penalties for Vandals to convert.
Two minutes later, after Sandown tried to run the ball out of their own 22, a panic clearance kick was charged down for an unconverted try.
Sandown fought back up field, but in what was to be a pattern for the day, every time they got near the visitors’ line, Vandals started infringing at will. After four penalties on their line, Vandals lost their hooker to the sin bin for killing the ball.
Sandown opted for the scrum for these penalties, and eventually the ball found Luke Hunter, who scored an unconverted try.
Play remained in the centre of the field with both sides infringing at regular intervals. Vandals scored another unconverted try and a penalty before the break, to make it 19-5.
In the second half, Sandown forced the visitors into their 22 for ten minutes, coming away with a Baxandall penalty to make it 19-8.
Vandals set a maul from a line-out, and worked their way up field for 40m only to go off-side on the Sandown line.
Vandals stepped up a notch and forced Sandown to defend their line on a number of occasions but they held out with some fierce defending especially the back row of Jones, Branston and Wightlink man of the match Ryan Carey.
Any chances of a strong comeback were thwarted when two Sandown players were yellow carded in quick succession. Another Baxandall penalty made it 11-19, and Vikoma man of the match Tom Monks caused havoc on the flank before Vandals also had a player sin-bin.
As the game seemed poised for a surprise finish, Sandown then had a player sent off for violent play, and Vandals finished their day off with a penalty.
Sandown and Shanklin: Monks, Gough, Robinson, Chandler, Graham, Baxandall, Booth, Eldridge, Kulik, Skelley, S. Rees, J. Rees, Hunter, Jones, Carey, Branston, Harris, Wolfenden.