London One North: Brentwood give Eton Manor a lesson
PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 November 2017
London One North: Eton Manor 8 Brentwood 66
Brentwood claimed bragging rights over Eton Manor with a 66-8 victory at the New Wilderness in the London One North last weekend.
Manor welcomed their old adversaries with the sides separated by one place in the division and therefore Jamie Connors team were looking for the victory that would leapfrog them above their opponents
As it turned out Manor were nowhere near to achieving their aim as the visitors took full advantage of a terrible performance where the hosts were second best in almost all aspects of a game which saw Brentwood hand Manor a painful lesson on how rugby should be played.
Manor kicked off the game with Brentwood soon showing that they meant business, retaining the ball well and using big powerful runners to pierce Manors defence before unleashing their talented backline to further test Manor.
Only some desperate defending prevented Brentwood from scoring the first points of the match in the opening exchanges
Manor then had a period of possession where they worked their way upfield eventually winning the first scrum of the day.
Brentwood were penalised giving Manor the first scoring opportunity and from 30 meters out Nick Sheppard continued his recent fine kicking form as the ball went between the posts for Manor to take an early 3 – 0 lead.
Play was fairly even with neither side having much of an advantage until a good break by one of Brentwood’s centres saw him break through a number of weak tackles before being hauled down short of the line by Rhys Davis-Horne, but the Brentwood player managed to stretch and place the ball over the line the first of Brentwood’s try’s.
With the conversion successful, Brentwood now held a 3 – 7 lead with 10 minutes played at the New Wilderness.
It wasn’t long before the visitors added to their score, Manor had a defending lineout which they won through Tom O’Connor.
It allowed Callum McKie to kick deep into Brentwood’s half, from here the ball was gathered allowing the visitors to set up a counter attack involving both forwards and backs.
Once inside Manors’ 22, the ball was moved out to the right winger who evaded a couple of attempted tackles to go over in the corner. With the difficult conversion again successful after 15 minutes the score was 3 – 15.
Brentwood were in control of the game by way of both possession and territory and after a good break from their hooker they again kept possession well searching for weaknesses in Manors defence and once one was found they were ruthless in their execution taking another well worked try and although the conversion was missed Brentwood were now in a commanding 3 – 19 lead.
With Manor now disrupted by the loss of McKie through injury, Brentwood continued to play the game with pace and power and it wasn’t long before they created another opportunity which was again well taken by their winger.
Even though the extra points weren’t added, after 25 minutes Brentwood had stretched their lead to 3 – 24.
From the re-start Manor won some rare possession when Misiona Evagelia claimed the restart which allowed Davis-Horne and Moe Alotham to make ground before Brentwood gave away a penalty which Nick Horton kicked to touch for a lineout inside Brentwood’s 22.
The throw in was secured by Harry Reid allowing Manor to set up a driving maul which travelled 15 meters towards and over the try line where Reid grounded the ball for a try to Manor. The conversion was missed but the gap had narrowed to 8 – 24 after 30 minutes.
Things though didn’t get any better for Manor as Brentwood scored another converted try before the half came to a close with the hosts trailing 8 – 31.
Brentwood kicked off the second half and although Manor secured possession the ball was soon turned over allowing Brentwood to set up another free flowing attack with forwards and backs combining well to release their winger who was stopped short of the line, but with Manors defensive line out of place, Brentwood’s centre crossed the line for another 7 point score increasing their lead 8 – 38.
Brentwood were finding too many holes in Manors usually solid defensive line and they set up attack after attack inside Manors 22 but eventually Manor did win a penalty when Lee Reed got over the ball and Brentwood were penalised for not releasing in the tackle.
Still Brentwood had the territorial advantage and from another attack inside Manors 22 a clever chip ahead by the visitors fly half was gratefully collected by their centre who went over to score yet another 7 point score, with 10 minutes of the second half gone Manor trailed 8 – 45.
Manor did create attacking opportunities with notable breaks by Reid, Evagelia, and Sheppard which tested Brentwood’s defence, but they held firm.
Brentwood scored another three well taken tries as they dominated the game and when the final whilst was blown they were worthy winners.
As the score shows, on the day the two sides were miles apart in their gameplay with Brentwood giving Manor a harsh lesson of how to play rugby.
The players know that they had put in a terrible performance, but must put this behind them, regroup and work at training on rectifying the issues that were apparent during the game.
The true character of this team will be shown in how they respond next week away to Old Haberdashers and with yet more team disruption due to injury and unavailability it will possibly give others the opportunity to show that they deserve a regular place in the starting line up.