Manor feeling a lot more positive now

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 September 2015

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (left)

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (left)


The New Wilderness outfit come up against a familar side this weekend

Eton Manor visit a familiar foe this weekend in the National League Three South as they take on rivals Colchester at Mill Road and head coach Jamie Connors is pleased with the improvements his side continue to make.

The two teams did battle in London One North last season and both eventually earned promotion to the higher level.

Neither are yet to taste success this year, but have picked up a bonus point each going into Saturday’s encounter.

Connors expects Colchester to provide another tough test, but is happy to take his team to a ground they have a good record at.

Manor won 15-14 at Mill Road on the opening day of last season and in the 2013/14 campaign triumphed 15-9 and 19-14 the year before that too.

“We know Colchester pretty well and have won at their place a few times in the past so it should be an interesting match,” said Connors.

“I don’t know too much about their team this year, although like us they only have one point from their opening three games.

“I suspect they are similar to last season, so we know they like to throw the ball around and it will be a tough one for us.”

A problem for Manor in the early part of the campaign is dealing with injuries. They now have 19 potential first-team players unavailable for this weekend.

Kevin Reed was added to that list on Saturday, coming off during the 44-22 defeat to Guernsey, but Connors is staying positive.

“We have definitely improved over the last couple of weeks, which is good, so we need to keep that up and hopefully when we get a few more guys back it will be a little bit easier,” he added.

“Kevin dislocated his shoulder quite badly, he was really hurt. That’s a second dislocated shoulder of the season.

“I imagine our team for Colchester will be pretty similar to last weekend, but we have a few backs missing too because they are unavailable. It will probably be two or three weeks before we get four or five back from injury.”

Even though Manor are without a win yet, they have moved off the bottom of the table after picking up a bonus point against Guernsey.

Connors’ men actually trailed 37-0 at the start of the second period, but hit back after the restart and finished strongly.

Ashley Somers, Reece Reed, Elliot Brown and Rhys Davis-Horne, from the final play of the game, crossed over to boost Manor’s confidence.

“There were some really good performances individually and collectively in that second half display,” added Connors. “The boys know what they need to do now to score tries at this level and they really enjoyed themselves.

“We put a really good 40-minute performance in, so now we need to try and make it closer to 60.”

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