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Manor will go to Gravesend focused on getting first win

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 February 2016

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (pic: Martin Pearl).

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New Zealander discusses competition in the squad and strength of backs available to him

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors says his team know exactly what to expect from Gravesend in National League Three South this weekend.

The New Wilderness outfit make the trip to Kent to face a side directly above them in the standings.

While bottom club Manor are yet to register a maiden victory in the division, Gravesend have won two matches out of 18.

They triumphed 30-6 against Connors’ men in October, although the Essex side were forced to field some forwards in the back line late on after a number of injuries.

Manor hope their long wait to celebrate a win in the National League can end on Saturday.

Connors said: “There is no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive at Gravesend.

“We’ve played them already this year and in a pre-season match at their place a while back, so we know what they’re like.

“We go into the game hoping we can get a win and we know it will certainly be a close match.

“The downside about coming up is you don’t know anything about the teams or what to expect, but we know exactly what Gravesend are about, so we won’t have any complaints this week.”

Manor were only trailing 11-6 at half time against the Kent outfit, before the injury curse struck and they were well beaten.

But they should have plenty of backs to pick from on Saturday as Connors revealed the weekend break has allowed them to get various players back up to speed.

He added: “We are hoping to have Ben Thomas back for the Gravesend match. He has a little neck injury, but will have a fitness test before the game.

“I’d say he is 50/50 at the moment, but hopefully he can come back into contention. Elliot Brown is available too so that’s another person in consideration for us.

“We could actually pick two sets of backs on Saturday if needed and all of them would have played for the first team at some point this season which is good.

“In the forwards Jack Sullivan will be playing his third match in a row and John Robinson is also available, so it is looking positive for us.”

Manor were also boosted by the return of Mike Eghan to training on Tuesday.

Although the talented winger wasn’t involved in any contact rugby, he was back running again and his presence was a positive for the Essex club.

Connors was thrilled to see him involved and explained the plan for the rest of the campaign as he added: “It was great to see Mike running again.

“Tryson Goodchild was also involved, although I am not sure he will be available for Saturday.

“Obviously there is not a lot to salvage this season, but hopefully we can get a few wins in the league to take into next year.”


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