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London One North: Eton Manor’s director of rugby Ian Edwards seeks more after Saffron Walden victory

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 September 2017

Reece Reed manages to get over the try line for Eton Manor despite the best efforts of two Saffron Walden players (pic: Martin Pearl).

Reece Reed manages to get over the try line for Eton Manor despite the best efforts of two Saffron Walden players (pic: Martin Pearl).

Archant

Nick Sheppard grabbed a brace for Jamie Connors team on the opening-day of the new season

Eton Manor winger Michael Eghan charges over for a try against Saffron Walden (pic: Martin Pearl). Eton Manor winger Michael Eghan charges over for a try against Saffron Walden (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor started the new London One North campaign with a 50-29 victory away to Saffron Walden, but director of rugby Ian Edwards insists there is still room for improvement.

The New Wilderness outfit ran in eight tries with Nick Sheppard grabbing a brace.

Michael Eghan, Nick Horton, Garth Tucker, Tony Sweeney and Harry Reid also crossed over on a fairly good day for Jamie Connors team.

But Edwards said: “We have highlighted the areas where we need to work on and one of them is our defence.

“If we want to compete with the best teams in the division then we need to tighten up at the back.

“Obviously it is early days and that is the type of stuff we’ll work on during Tuesday and Thursday sessions.”

Saffron Walden actually took the lead after just four minutes, as Manor made a poor start to the 2017/18 season.

They quickly regrouped and Eghan replied two minutes later before new captain Horton put the visitors in front.

Eton Manor captain Nick Horton is grabbed by a Saffron Walden opponent (pic: Jamie Pluck). Eton Manor captain Nick Horton is grabbed by a Saffron Walden opponent (pic: Jamie Pluck).

Walden came back, however, and made it 14-12 with a try, as the opening exchanges were action-packed.

Tucker extended Manor’s advantage with a score after 20 minutes and Reed went over before the break, as the away side led 26-17 at half time.

Connors’ team put their foot on the accelerator, as Sheppard and Sweeney grabbed tries inside the opening exchanges of the second period.

Reid went over soon after before John Robinson was sent to the sin-bin and Walden reduced the arrears.

Sheppard had the final say on proceedings, though, when he went over again to take his points tally for the match to 20.

Edwards added: “The tries were shared around between the forwards and backs, so that was good.

“It is always nice to see a mixture of names on the scoresheet and we scored a lot of different tries.”

Manor’s director of rugby also discussed the decision to make Horton the new captain after Tryson Goodchild stepped down.

“Nick has been with the club for six seasons and is the longest serving player now Tryson has stepped down,” said Edwards.

“On and off the pitch he is a great leader, so he was the obvious choice and hopefully he can help take us forward.”

Manor’s opening-day victory places them third in the table with five points behind Ruislip and Chingford.

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