Manor victorious at Ruislip
Manor travelled to Ruislip knowing that they needed to put in a much better performance than last week if they were to come away with the spoils from a ground that they have in the past found it very difficult to win at. With the starting fifteen showing five changes to last weeks team, Manor gave a debut to Fredie Scobey on the wing.
Manor kicked off playing down the slope and soon had an advantage when Ruislip knocked the ball on giving Manor the first scrum of the day. Although the Ruislip eight put the Manor pack under pressure, they did secure possession and fed it along the backline where Nick Sheppard made ground before recycled ball was again moved along the backline, only for a loose pass to be intercepted by the home side which they kicked down field. From halfway Elliott Brown launched an attack before Nick Horton chipped the ball into Ruislip’s 22, with the ball bobbling around Misiona Evagelia put the defenders under pressure as they tried to run the ball out of defence, Manor then turned the ball over inside the 22 and moved it swiftly along their backline and found Rhys Davis-Horne out on the wing who ran in from 15 meters out to score Manors first try. Although the touchline conversion was missed, Manor had taken the lead 0 – 5 after five minutes of play.
Manor continued to have the upper hand but were sloppy in some of their execution and this lead to another interception by Ruislip who through a combination of strong forward runs and slick back play took the game into Manors 22. Manor were now forced to defend their line but patient play by Ruislip created some space for their speedy left winger who with ball in hand set off towards the try line. Manors Michael Eghan set off in chase catching his man ten meters out bundling him into touch.
Ruislip were now having the better of things as Manor gave away a number of penalties which Ruislip chose to kick for lineouts. Manor defended these well and despite turning the ball over a couple of times and launching counterattacks, they kept finding themselves under pressure by giving away silly penalties, but the Manor line held and after twenty minutes the score had remained unchanged.
Manor were now winning the forward battle with aggressive rucking, something that had been missing the previous week, this allowed Manor to turn the ball over giving Horton the opportunity to put the ball deep into Ruislip’s 22 for a lineout to the home side. Here Alfie Hutcherson stole the throw in allowing Manor to bring Eghan in off of his wing and only good defending stopped him a few meters short of the line, Manor recycled the ball, this time Scobey came in off of his wing and again was stopped short a few meters out but won a penalty. Manor kicked to touch and with their lineout working smoothly they won the ball and drove it towards the line before feeding it out to the backs where both Scobey and Eghan caused problems for the defence before the ball was fed to Garth Tucker who powered over the line despite two defenders trying to stop him. This time Sheppard was successful with the conversion and after thirty one minutes Manor had increased their lead to 0 – 12.
From the re-start Manor kept up the pressure as Harry Reid and Tony Sweeney combined well before freeing Scobey to take the ball on, when he was brought to ground Manor won quick ruck ball that allowed Horton to kick deep into Ruislip’s territory where the ball went into touch for an opposition lineout. At the lineout Evagelia and Hutcherson combined well to turn the ball over and win a penalty. Although they won the ensuing lineout, Manor were unable to capitalise on another attacking opportunity.
Ruislip again had a period of possession inside Manors 22, but they were met with a solid defensive wall and some big hits where one in particular by Barney Newbury knocked Ruislip’s big prop backwards, but still the hosts attacked and a well placed kick in behind Manors defence saw Brown scampering to cover the danger only to put in an early tackle, one the ref judged was suitable for a yellow card. With Manor a man down Ruislip chose not to take the three points, but go for an attacking lineout, even though Manor had already disrupted a number of their throw ins. Again Manor disrupted the lineout and managed turn the ball over and clear the danger and in doing so brought the first half to an end.
The second half began with Manor a man down and playing up the slope, as you would expect the home side knew how to play the pitch and soon put Manor under pressure using their numerical advantage to keep Manor pinned inside their 22. From a set scrum Ruislip won the ball which was fed to their fly half who put in a well directed chip kick into Manors dead ball area where Ruislip’s winger won the race to touch the ball down for a try. The touchline conversion was missed but after only four minutes of the second half Ruislip had reduced the deficit to 5 – 12.
Manor upped their game and took the attack to Ruislip and it was their turn to pressurise the opposition into giving away penalties allowing Manor to keep play in and around Ruislip’s 22. With Manor now back to full strength Manor attacked firstly through Eghan then the forwards through Newbury, George Cosmo and Reid drove deep into Ruislip’s 22, then with quick recycled ball Davis-Horne put in a grubber kick in behind Ruislip’s defence but Manor were just beaten to the ball by Ruislip’s fullback who grounded the ball first for a 22 dropout.
Manor continued to mount pressure on Ruislip keeping then pinned in their half. From a lineout twenty meters out Manor won clean ball and drove the ball forward being stopped just short of the line, Reece Reed in close support of his forwards picked the ball up and went for the line only to be brought back by the ref for an accidental offside. Although Manor put pressure on the Ruislip scrum, they won the ball allowing their flyhalf to kick the ball to the halfway line where it was fielded by Scobey. He set off on a run infield beating a couple of tacklers before feeding Davis-Horne who continued the attack until a high tackle resulted in a penalty to Manor. From thirty meters out Sheppard stuck the ball between the posts to increase Manors lead 5 – 15 after 15 minutes of the second half.
Ruislip again attacked from the restart but found a solid defensive wall by Manor who eventually won a penalty allowing them to clear the danger and set up another period of attacking play. From a lineout Manor again drove the ball upfield through their forwards before releasing their backline who made ground into Ruislip’s 22, but with the rain now falling, the slippery ball was knocked on.
Manor continued hold the upper hand with most of the play inside Ruislip’s 22 and when the home side did win possession they kicked deep only for Eghan and Scobey to set off on powerful runs taking play back into Ruislip’s 22. Manor though, through a combination of solid defending, handling errors and wrong game management choices didn’t add to their score despite their territorial advantage.
The nearest Manor came to scoring again was when they won a lineout on halfway which they drove forward before Horton put in a cross field kick deep into Ruislip’s 22 which Eghan and Brown both chased after. As the ball bounced high off of the ground Eghan jumped highest looking to knock the ball back to Brown but unfortunately the ball went forwards as Brown gathered it with the try line beckoning.
As the game wore on Ruislip were in the ascendency and it was their turn to pound away at Manors line, which Manor defended stoutly but not without falling foul of the refs whistle a number of times which eventually led to a yellow card for Ollie Waugh. Although their lineout had been under pressure all game Ruislip continued to kick for touch rather than take a shot at goal and three points that would have at least given them a losing bonus point.
Manor continued to defend Ruislip’s attacks and eventually won a penalty for Ruislip not releasing the ball which Horton kicked to the halfway line. Here Manor again secured lineout ball and drove it into Ruislip’s half where they were awarded another penalty, with time up they taped and kicked the ball dead to end the game to win 5 – 15.
Manor had succeeded in their goal of coming to a ground where all too often in the past they had been beaten, and winning the game. It wasn’t a perfect game by any sorts, but a definite improvement on the previous weeks lacklustre performance. Whilst Manors game management needs to improve, their lineout and defence was back to the level expected and some of their attacking moves were very well executed. Next week Manor host the currently unbeaten Fullerians and will need further improvement if they are to end their visitors unbeaten run.