4th XV - Match centre

East London III
E Manor IV
Sat 4 Mar 15:00 - The Shepherd Neame Essex Merit Table - Division 5 Full time

Fours seek revenge for opening day defeat

This week's match report

Our last league fixture of the season saw us try to avenge our opening day defeat to familiar foes East London. Having secured promotion for the third time in as many years a few weeks ago against Southend in a mauling (we won 60-0 and I scored, that's there all there was to it) we wanted to end the season on a high and keep the momentum going. Now that the weather is getting a bit nicer we had a big squad to take us fifteen minutes down the road but a lack of hookers meant we had to settle for the old as Father Time Spanish flea. He's probably not far off the combined ages of both of our other props! We also managed to get both of the Norcaro brothers on the pitch at the same time, so the sidelines were free of their constant moaning and had a peaceful vibe for a change.

The game kicked off and we continued our season long trend of getting on the board early, Le Vallee getting himself on the scoresheet again by going down under the posts with a few men hanging off him. Before the match started we'd stressed the importance of making our tackles and going low on the man knowing that they had a few runners in their side, Luigi opted not to heed this advice and got a custard pie to the face for his troubles, delivered gleefully by ex-Manor man Sammy Green.
Once again we put the pressure on their defence, this time through some good carries through the forwards, the ball was fed to Dom who barrelled through some would be tacklers (no surprises there) and got our second try, the conversion was made with a good kick from Klaus, who was pretty good off the tee in fairly windy conditions, only missing two difficult ones out wide all afternoon. Unfortunately Dom reaggravated an elbow injury from some shenanigans last week playing a game of touch outside Twickenham, meaning Tony Osborne came on to replace him in the centres. We added one more try before the end of the half, Terry fooling a few players and touched down out wide. East London also butchered a certain try in the first half, their Irish flyhalf was clean through but upon looking around for a man to pass to to make the conversion easier, delivered a dreadful pass which was knocked on. (Said Irish flyhalf was also nailed later on with a 'lateish' tackle from Luigi straight out of Courtney Lawes book.)

We switched things round at half time but were hoping for more of the same, there were a few changes in the forwards, and after some good pressure it was ilford John who got the try, his second since he joined the club (must be all the champagne rugby rubbing off on him). East London had also made a few changes at half time, and these players helped turn the tide their way from this point in, requiring a few big tackles to stop them from scoring, (worth noting I made a particularly good one on Sammy, which was surprising as Luigi taught me how to tackle). Two of their ringers scored to now make a game out of it, but another try from Mark again (I won't go into details, his head is big enough as it is) helped to take some of the pressure off. We had to rely on some good backs to the wall defending, which was helped by the fact they'd subbed on a rather large prop, Mike took this opportunity to put himself in at front row and torment the poor sod, which helped run the clock down and at one point it seemed like the ref was teaching the two teams how to scrummage (not that we knew how to anyway).

We managed to see the game out only conceding once more and were glad to hear the full time whistle, having been challenged a fair bit in the last half hour. In the bar, one of the East London players let slip that what was their gameplan and that they'd discussed it in training on Thursday (a third team training I hear you say!) and had planned to nick it at the end. For the post match meal we were given two choices of chicken dish to go with the noodles, in case you were wondering they were both awful. At the time of writing hopefully we have a friendly lined up for next week, and can get one more game in before the semi final at home to Southend.

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Division 5 results

Dagenham II
Westcliff IV


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Westcliff IV 18 78
2. E Manor IV 18 75
3. Southend V 18 63
4. East London III 18 60
5. Wanstead III 18 51
6. Rochford III 18 48
7. Ilford III 18 40

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