It’s D-Day for Eton Manor
15:00 25 April 2014
Eton Manor coach Jamie Connors hopes it’s second time lucky as they go in search of National League rugby for the first time in their history on Saturday.
The New Wilderness side missed out last year 27-3 in a play-off against Basingstoke, but will hope for better luck this time around when they travel to Chichester.
And while last season’s experience was a nervy one for Manor, Connors believes his side are relishing the chance to right the wrongs of last season.
“The games don’t come any bigger than this and having had the break over Easter everyone is refreshed and ready to go,” said Connors.
“Fourteen or 15 of last season’s squad are still here and we were a bit like a rabbit caught in the headlights on that occasion, but they have that experience under their belt now and hopefully we can put in a good performance this time around.”
Connors has received mixed reports about Chichester, the team who finished second in London One South, but believes they’re similar in a lot of aspects to Manor themselves.
“We’ve heard they are pretty good in the forwards and they have spread their tries all over the park and in that respect they are similar to us,” he added.
“But we know we have to deliver when it comes down to it. We’ve had the must-win feeling since the turn of the year so although there is that pressure, the boys have coped with it so far and hopefully they can deliver one more time.”
Manor are boosted by the return of winger Michael Eghan, who has missed the final two weeks of the regular season through injury, while they can also field another replacement for the important fixture.
“Michael had a good session on Tuesday and suffered no discomfort so he’ll be included,” he added.
“We can take an extra replacement as well which is a boost, while one or two others are available as well, so the squad will be strong.”
Manor will be taking a few coaches down as well for the fixture and Connors hopes they’ll be cheering the team on to the biggest win in their history.
“There should be quite a few coaches coming to the game to support us and that will be nice,” he added.
“They had over 1,000 spectators there for a match against league winners Gravesend so we are expecting a big turn out and a good atmosphere.”