Connors positive hard work will get Eton Manor out of rut
PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 December 2018
The Wanstead-based club will aim to make the most of home advantage against H.A.C at the New Wilderness on Saturday
Jamie Connors is eager for Eton Manor to keep the enjoyment in their rugby and turn the corner soon after another London One North defeat at the weekend.
The New Wilderness club, after a bright start to the 2018/19 term, have lost their last four matches in the division to drop to seventh.
Amersham & Chiltern inflicted Manor’s latest defeat on Saturday after they triumphed 22-15 despite having 14 men for the final period of the game.
Connors said: “We are trying to keep the enjoyment in it. Clearly we are all here to win games of rugby and obviously when you don’t do that guys’ heads dip and it is no longer fun.
“We need to keep together. For me, that’s the main thing. When you lose a couple it is easy to not come to training or be in the gym as often and give up a little bit, so we are trying to keep all of the boys together.
“All of us will continue to work really hard and hopefully we can turn the corner soon.”
Manor squandered a very good chance to get back on track last weekend at Amersham as they failed to build on a 15-9 lead with 22 minutes to go.
Tries by Luigi Martelletti and Misiona Evagelia put the visitors in control, with George Bradley kicking five points, but the hosts fought back.
Despite having a man sent off, Amersham scored 13 unanswered points in the final exchanges of the clash in Buckinghamshire to secure a dramatic victory.
“I wouldn’t say the wheels are falling off, but we are in a real low patch and it is tough to get out of,” Connors said.
“There are no excuses, but we are missing a few players – key lads – and the boys are just shot on confidence a bit really which is a real shame.
“Saturday was a massive missed opportunity. They had a guy sent off with 20-odd minutes to go and we got a try and went in front, and then we looked like the team with a man down, which was disappointing to see.”
Manor will look to finish off the year with a good showing against H.A.C this weekend and the game will be at the New Wilderness.
Saturday’s opponents are fourth in the standings with 43 points to their name and played out a 24-24 draw with Connors’ side back on September 8.
“The lucky thing is the H.A.C game is at our place because the first game of the season was meant to be away, but their pitch was not ready in time, so we now get an extra home game, which is exactly what we need,” Manor’s head coach said.
“On the flip side, they are a tough team. We drew with them and the good thing is we know what they are about, but they are a decent side, so it will be a good challenge.”
Connors is as frustrated as anyone about Manor’s form, but he paid tribute to some of the sides they have lost to recently.
He added: “The old cliché is winning is a habit, but losing is a habit as well and once you start losing and you get on a run it can sometimes be difficult to see where the win is going to come or even that good performance.
“We are in a rut, but credit to the teams we have been playing because they have been serving it up and playing well.
“Certainly we are not playing any mugs, we are playing teams in the middle of the table with a point to prove and especially Amersham.
“They had a bad start to the season, but seem to have turned it around and they are a decent outfit, although on balance it is a game where we feel we could have walked away with a win.”