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London One North: Jamie Connors wants Eton Manor to turn New Wilderness into fortress

PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 October 2016

Eton Manor's Matt Oaks tries to bring down a Letchworth Garden City opponent (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor's Matt Oaks tries to bring down a Letchworth Garden City opponent (pic: Martin Pearl).

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Thurrock visit Wanstead-based club this weekend and it could be another thrilling encounter

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).

Jamie Connors is looking forward to the challenge facing his Eton Manor group against Thurrock in London One North this weekend.

It is fifth against sixth in the division and a win for the New Wilderness outfit would see them leapfrog their local rivals.

Connors is keen for Manor to put Thurrock to the sword and keep on improving their home form having lost two of their opening three fixtures there this season.

He said: “They are one above us and beat Brentwood last weekend, so it will be a really good challenge.

“There is nothing like playing against these sides that are nearby and it is sort of a local derby so I’m looking forward to a decent game and getting back at home.

“It wasn’t a great start at the New Wilderness this season and we are really keen to make sure we don’t let ourselves down at home or anywhere else for the rest of the year.

“We want to come out and put our best foot forward and if we do that we know we have a good chance of beating Thurrock.”

Since losing to Brentwood at home on October 1, Manor have bounced back to thrash Old Priorians (62-24) and win at Letchworth Garden City (33-22) last weekend.

What is helping Connors and the rest of his coaching team is a huge battle for starting spots, with so many talented players to pick from.

He added: “We have got a really strong squad and probably have got a bit more depth with our backs.

“There are some really good backs, who have played a lot of first team rugby for us before, that are missing out at the moment.

“We are changing it around a little bit and some weeks it comes down to who is available and who has trained that week – those people get the nod and there is a lot of competition for places which is really good.”

Ollie Phillips was fit again to take his place on the wing last weekend to help Manor beat Letchworth with an excellent team display.

Phillips scored the visitor’s first try of the match, before Luigi Martelletti, Tryson Goodchild and Nick Sheppard also crossed to make it 26-12 at the end of the first half.

Damian Horton added another try, before Manor finished the game with 13 men after Misiona Evagelia and Rory Moore received yellow cards, but held firm.

“They are a pretty good team and like to throw the ball around so it was a pretty entertaining game,” added Connors.

“I think we were deserved winners in the end. We turned the screw before half time and defended really well when we were down to 13 for a 10-minute period.

“It was a good day at the office and is not the easiest of places to go as we know from previous so we were really happy.”


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