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London One North: Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors will not take ‘improving’ Sudbury lightly despite struggles

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 November 2016

Eton Manor defend well against North Walsham at the New Wilderness (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor defend well against North Walsham at the New Wilderness (pic: Martin Pearl).

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New Wilderness outfit in good form ahead of visiting Whittome Field, though taking nothing for granted this weekend

Eton Manor's Andrew Connors is supported by Misiona Evagelia against North Walsham (pic: Martin Pearl).Eton Manor's Andrew Connors is supported by Misiona Evagelia against North Walsham (pic: Martin Pearl).

Jamie Connors is delighted with the strength in depth at Eton Manor ahead of their latest match in London One North this weekend.

A long trip to Sudbury awaits the Wanstead-based club to face a side at the bottom of the division, but one which has improved recently.

Manor defeated North Walsham at the New Wilderness last Saturday, while the division’s basement boys went down narrowly 21-10 at third-placed Brentwood.

Connors said: “Sudbury are down the bottom, though we recognise they’ve improved quite a lot.

“I’m not sure if they’ve brought in new players or what it is, but drawing with Chingford and not being too far off at Brentwood is a pretty good day at the office.

“We will be going there having full respect for Sudbury and not taking them lightly at all. We know it will be a tough game at their place.”

Manor travel to Whittome Field with healthy competition in all areas of the squad after an impressive display at home to North Walsham last weekend.

Connors was without his captain Tryson Goodchild and several other first-team regulars for Vikings visit.

Yet the hosts fought back from 17-0 down to run in five tries and claim a bonus-point, 32-20 success to move up to fourth in the table.

Eton Manor's Freddie Hatton dives over to score their first try against North Walsham (pic: Martin Pearl).Eton Manor's Freddie Hatton dives over to score their first try against North Walsham (pic: Martin Pearl).

“There is always going to be people away or injured, so the depth of our squad is pretty key,” said Connors.

“I think some teams do struggle with that because they have a good 15 to 18, but then it all falls away.

“We are quite lucky we have 25 plus and a couple of years ago when we won the league, I think we used something like 40 players.

“It shows you how quickly those stats tally up, so depth in the squad is something we’re lucky to have.”

North Walsham made a fantastic start after their long trip south last weekend and led 17-0 with a quarter of an hour played.

But Freddie Hatton started the comeback with a fine try five minutes later, before Max Murray crossed with half time approaching.

Then, just before the 40-minute mark, Matt Oaks grabbed a score against his old club and with Nick Shepphard kicking the extras, Manor were back on level terms.

Walsham hit back with a penalty after the restart, but Alex Clarke, usually in the second team, finished well to put the hosts in front for the first time.

Rhys Davies-Horne grabbed a fifth try in the 65th minute and Manor held on to seal an important result.

Connors added: “I said to the guys after the game there are not many teams that come back from 17-0 down to win and pretty comprehensively in the end.

“That was a big plus for us. We didn’t start fantastically well, but Walsham had a bit of a hot streak and teams do have that at times.

“You can’t do too much about it so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it, but saying that we have a bit of work to do to try and improve how we start this week.”


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