Eton Manor RFC return to action with victory over local rivals Thurrock
- Credit: Eton Manor RFC
After what seemed like a lifetime, Eton Manor RFC finally played a competitive game of rugby when they thrashed local Essex rivals Thurrock 43-19.
A crowd of over 250 spectators saw a new-look Manor side with six debutants in the matchday squad come away as well deserved winners, although they didn’t have it all their own way as Thurrock showed great spirit and a brief comeback in the second half.
Cameron Dutch fielded a Thurrock clearance kick and ran the ball back, linking up with Emerson who made a good break before linking up with another debutant, hooker Jordan McDonald, who in turn used his pace to take play into Thurrock’s 22 where he was eventually brought to ground 10 meters short of the line.
He managed to pop the ball up to yet another debutant, winger Luke Watson, who sprinted over the line and scored in the corner for what he thought was his debut try.
However, an offence must have been committed by a Thurrock player as the referee blew his whistle again and went under the posts for a penalty, denying Watson his try but giving Manor a 7-0 lead after 20 minutes.
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Tom Christopher and his second-row partner Sullivan both made some good ground but it was after a Thurrock mistake - they were penalised for dummying a lineout throw - that Manor scored.
Debutant winger Jordan Sullivan-Warner raced towards the line, only to be hauled down a few meters short. As he fell he passed the ball out of the back of his hand to supporting Dutch, who went over in the corner to score and make it 14-0.
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With the last play of the half, Manor drove at the Thurrock line but were repelled by some good defensive work.
David Ogufere got his hands on the ball and, when stopped, managed to pass out to winger Sullivan-Warner where he managed to offload the ball.
His fellow winger Watson had tracked the ball and managed to stoop low and in one movement, dived over for a try.
Dutch was successful with the touchline conversion, with the ref blowing halftime as Manor led 21-0.
Immediately from the kick off of the second half, Manor put the visitors under pressure, keeping them pinned inside their own 22.
A pre-planned move saw Christopher win the ball and feed McDonald, who darted along the touchline and despite the efforts of a Thurrock defender, managed to dot the ball down in the corner before being bundled into touch for his first try for the club. This gave Manor a 26-0 lead.
Lowe spotted a gap and from 20 meters out, sprinted through the Thurrock defence, going over in the corner for what was an unconverted try to stretch the lead to 31-0.
Warner outpaced the covering defenders to dive over the line for his debut try, making it 38-0.
Manor now became complacent and Thurrock soon took advantage; their flyhalf dashed through a gap to score under the posts and record their first points of the match, 31-7.
Thurrock continued to have the upper hand winning a number of penalties, one of which was kicked deep into Manor's 22.
Here they secured the throw-in and from six meters out, drove over the line for their second converted try, closing the gap to 38-14 with 10 minutes to go.
Thurrock soon took advantage of their numerical advantage after Watson was booked and after some good forward runs in Manor's 22, moved the ball swiftly along the line creating an overlap out wide and going in at the corner to score their third try of the match.
This was unconverted and with the clock running down, the score was now 38-19.
Nikoloz Abramishvili went to ground setting up a ruck which after a couple of pick and drives, Ogufere got his hands on the ball and powered over the line for a well-deserved try, capping his man of the match performance to make it 43-19.