Manor clinch rugby play-off place as they cruise to emphatic victory
PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 April 2013
Eton Manor book place in play-offs
Eton Manor 32
Manor took advantage of an under-strength Letchworth to book their place in the London One North play-offs as they cruised to victory in the snow in this re-arranged match on Saturday, despite a below-par second half showing.
The visitors dominated from the off and were rewarded after just four minutes when Ben Thomas slotted over a penalty after Letchworth were adjudged to be off side.
Much of the play was spent in the Letchworth half and it was no surprise when Manor picked up their first try of the game, when Garth Tucker powered over an attempted tackle and raced in from 20 metres out as Thomas added the conversion for a 10-0 lead.
Letchworth missed a routine penalty in front of the posts and Manor soon went up the other end and scored.
From a scrum, Nick Horton darted down the blind side before finding the supporting Reed who cut back inside and passed to Horton who sprinted over, with Thomas keeping up the success rate with the boot to move 17-0 ahead.
Thomas slotted over another penalty as they moved 20-0 in front on the half hour mark and extended that further with another converted try.
Tucker powered his way into the Letchworth 22 before offloading to Alfie Hutcherson who had the pace to beat the covering defenders for Manor’s third try of the game.
But the second half flattered to deceive for Manor as they were often guilty of trying to force the game too much.
Straight from the kick-off, the hosts attacked and were only stopped five metres from the line.
It was all Letchworth in the early stages but Manor worked their way back into the game and Michael Eghan wasted a good try scoring opportunity when opting to take on the full back rather than offload.
A fine covering tackle from Horton prevented the hosts from registering their first points of the game, but Manor gratefully added the first and only points of the half as they sealed the bonus-point winning try.
The ball was recycled out to Chris Jones who then fed fellow winger Eghan and he burst through three attempted tackles to score in the corner, though Thomas’ conversion attempt was missed.
With three games left to play, Manor are now guaranteed a play-off spot, but only maximum point victories will give them the chance of a home fixture.
This weekend they host a rejuvenated Ruislip side visiting the New Wilderness and a much-improved second half performance is needed to ensure another victory.
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