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London One North: Jamie Connors accepts Eton Manor got tactics wrong at rivals Brentwood

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 January 2017

Sullivan of Eton Manor

Sullivan of Eton Manor

Archant

Two local clubs produced pulsating contest at King George’s Playing Fields with the hosts winning 23-18

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors held his hands up after Saturday’s London One North defeat at Brentwood and admitted they got their tactics wrong in the derby.

A thrilling encounter occurred at King George’s Playing Fields after the pitch survived a late inspection due to the chilly weather.

It was level going into the final 10 minutes of the match before Brentwood pounced on a mistake to score their third try and claim a 23-18 win.

Connors said: “It was probably one of the best games we’ve played in terms of how much we brought to it.

“Our intensity was good and our physicality, so there were lots of positives, but we probably got our tactics wrong in the first half.

“We didn’t take them on enough or get the ball wide to our backs and we tried to play quite forward-orientated at the beginning.

“We gave them a couple of opportunities, which they took to be fair, and it was difficult to win the game after that.”

Brentwood went 8-0 ahead playing up the slope, before Nick Sheppard hit back for the visitors with a penalty, but the hosts added another try to lead 15-3 after 30 minutes.

With the ground notorious for its uneven pitch, Manor would have hoped to make the most of going downhill in the first half.

Nick Horton helped them reduce the arrears with a try, but Brentwood added another penalty and although Sheppard replied, the visitors trailed 18-11 at half time.

Manor produced a brilliant display after the break, however, and captain Tryson Goodchild, Michael Eghan and Jack Sullivan all went agonisingly close to going over again.

Luigi Martelletti eventually made the breakthrough and with Sheppard adding the extras the game was evenly poised at 18-18.

Both teams pushed for the crucial next score and Brentwood grabbed a third try when Manor stopped after a counter-attack and couldn’t regroup.

The conversion was missed, but despite there still being 10 minutes remaining, the away side couldn’t find a way back

“Brentwood scored two tries up the hill against our one, so certainly that was the difference and they were silly tries,” said Connors.

“They didn’t really earn the tries, we gifted them, so we were on the back foot, but second half we were outstanding.

“We were all over them and scored a really good try and kept making line breaks and pushing their scrum up hill.

“Our line-out was better, but we just couldn’t finish off the tries. We created four or five opportunities, but we couldn’t nail one.”

It left Manor frustrated come the full time whistle after a pulsating contest and leaves them fourth in the table.


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