London One North: Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors excited about battle with North Walsham

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 November 2016

Eton Manor's Jack Sullivan runs forward with the ball despite close attention from a Letchworth Garden City rival (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor's Jack Sullivan runs forward with the ball despite close attention from a Letchworth Garden City rival (pic: Martin Pearl).


New Zealander has challenged New Wilderness squad to finish 2016 on a high with five straight victories

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors believes this weekend’s London One North fixture at home to North Walsham is a great test.

After having last Saturday off, the New Wilderness outfit will look to get back to winning ways after drawing 29-29 at Saffron Walden on November 5.

Manor’s Norfolk-based opponents have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign and sit fourth after six wins out of nine.

Connors said: “North Walsham are a good side, pretty good at home and don’t seem to travel as well and we have them at home so I’m looking forward to it.

“They are above us in the table so it is a good opportunity to test ourselves and see how we go.”

Following their tie last time out, Manor are sixth in the standings with five wins, one draw and three defeats this year.

All three losses have been against the top three in the division, yet Connors feels his squad are making life more difficult for themselves.

He added: “I said to the guys after Saffron Walden we are not a bad side, but we are letting ourselves down with discipline and game management.

“If we can sort that out we will carry on this good form. I’d say it was a blip in terms of the result and the guys are disappointed to only get a draw.

“We have plenty of games to play and once we get through North Walsham we have a run of teams down the bottom of the table. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

Before the draw at the beginning of November, Manor had won three matches in a row including an 18-8 triumph over Thurrock.

After hosting North Walsham on Saturday, Connors and his squad will face three of the bottom four before Christmas.

Their penultimate match of the year is a fixture with local rivals and second in the table Chingford at the New Wilderness.

Manor’s head coach pulled no punches about what he expects from his group of players, adding: “I don’t think we can really afford to lose another game if we have any ambitions towards the end of the season.

“It is pretty crucial we keep knocking teams off and winning - starting with North Walsham coming up.

“You’d like to think if we can beat them then we have a good opportunity to knock off the next three and then it’s Chingford at home.

“Obviously that’s going to be a really good game so the aim is to definitely get five W’s in the results column before Christmas.”

Poor discipline cost Manor at Saffron Walden with yellow cards to Jack Sullivan and Freddie Hatton allowing hosts to go 29-17 ahead.

Although Connors was pleased to see his squad fight back to draw level, he was ultimately left disappointed.

He added: “The character was good, although we let ourselves down with two yellow cards at the start of second half and that cost us.

“They scored two tries when we were down to 13 men and we then couldn’t get over at the end of the game. If you take out then we would have won reasonably comfortably.”

Manor will aim to put that right on Saturday with a comprehensive five-point victory likely to see them leapfrog North Walsham in the table.

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