Manor coast to victory at rain swept Ruislip
Manor travelled to Ruislip this week acutely aware that it has in the past been a very difficult place to win at and with the weather doing its best to ruin any free flowing rugby, Manor knew that a win was not guaranteed.
Ruislip kicked off the match playing down the slope and with heavy rain falling had the better of the first few minutes of play. The conditions suited their pack, which was much heavier than Manors 8, and the hosts tried to smash through Manors defence picking and driving whenever they could, but Manors defence is made of stern stuff and they knocked Ruislip’s ball carriers back in the tackle and try as they may, Ruislip could not make any inroads through Manors defence.
Manor gradually worked their way up the field where a well judged kick ahead by Nick Horton gave winger Harry Tustanowskyj the opportunity to chase the ball into the dead ball area where he was beaten to the touchdown by a covering defender. Although Ruislip cleared the danger Manor continued to attack, this time Elliott Brown leading the way from fullback, he collected a Ruislip clearance kick inside his half, then beat a number of opposition players as he took the ball into Ruislip’s 22 and offloaded as he was taken into touch but the final pass went forward, although this attack had broken down Manor had now shown that they were dangerous in attack as well as solid in defence.
It was Brown who was again the catalyst for Manors next attack when Ruislip again kicked the ball to him and after making 20 meters on a counter attack he kicked deep into Ruislip’s 22 where the hosts could only kick the ball dead just outside their 22. Manor won their lineout and drove the ball forward but this was stopped illegally giving Manor a penalty and seeing Ruislip’s flanker sent to the sin bin. Another lineout saw Manor again drive towards the line but Ruislip defended well and knocked the ball on. From the set scrum Manor drove the Ruislip pack back over their try line where Ollie Waugh claimed the try. With the strong wind being problematic, the conversion attempt went just wide, Manor though had opened their account after 20 minutes and led 0 – 5.
Ruislip had a period of possession inside Manors half, but their attacks were relatively one dimensional relying on their big ball carriers to try and punch holes in Manors defence, but they had no luck and Manor continued to knock their opponents back in the tackle, eventually winning a scrum. Here Manor again drove their opposition backwards winning a penalty, one of many that they would be awarded at scrum time.
With the ball being kicked for a lineout Manor won the throw in through Harry Reid then quick ball for the backs saw Oscar Townend crash through tackles before the ball was again fed along the backs and after a switch move the ball was moved to Misiona Evagelia who from 15 meters out stepped inside the first defender broke the next tackle before taking the final defender over the line with him as he scored Manors second try. Cameron Dutch was again just wide with the conversion but Manor had increased their lead to 0 – 10 after 33 minutes.
Ruislip again attacked Manor from the restart but some big hits from Reid and Robb Falls stopped the attacks then another hit from Jack Sullivan dislodged the ball, this bounced around before Aaron Lowe gathered the ball 10 meters inside Manors half then set off towards Ruislip’s 22 and had the speed to outpace the chasing defenders finally going over in the corner for Manors third try. This time Dutch was successful with the conversion stretching Manors lead to 0 – 17 with less than five minutes of the half to play.
From the restart Manor won a penalty for a high tackle but with advantage being played Waugh drove the ball into Ruislip’s half where he offloaded the ball to Michael Byrne, here the prop decided to show his kicking skills and sent a well weighted kick into Ruislip’s 22. Brown outsprinted the retreating Ruislip defenders and as the ball came to a halt a few meters short of Ruislip’s try line, using the wet surface Brown dived before the line, gathered the ball and slid over the line for Manors bonus point try. The conversion was missed but with the ref bringing the half to a close just after the restart Manor held a commanding lead 0 – 22.
Manor kicked off the second half and the first 10 minutes of the half were littered with handling errors by both sides as the conditions continued to have an effect on the quality of the contest. Manor though were now totally in control at the scrum, winning penalties on their own put in and often driving Ruislip back off the ball when they had the put in.
Billy Cosma came on for his first team debut and Brad Burrell came on in the front row. Manor again won a penalty at the scrum and kicked for a lineout 7 meters out from the try line. With Evagelia winning the throw in, Manor drove towards and over the line and when bodies rolled away Billy Cosma appeared clutching the ball for his first try in Manors colours. The difficult conversion attempt by Dutch was successful and Manor stretched their lead again to 0 – 29 after 20 minutes of the second half.
Manor soon increased their advantage, again winning a penalty at a scrum and kicking to touch. Manor forwards drove the lineout ball forward before Waugh drove to the line but good defence stopped him short, the ref had been playing a penalty advantage so brought play back 8 meters from Ruislip’s line. Substitute Rhys Davis-Horne spotted an opportunity and took a quick tap and drove towards the line, brushing aside two attempted tackles before going over the line with a Ruislip prop hanging on to his neck. The conversion just missed but with 25 minutes gone Manor led 0 – 34.
Ruislip continued to attack whenever they had chance but as all game they got no change out of Manors defence and did not look like troubling the scoreboard.
Manors last try came again courtesy of a penalty at scrum time. Again Manor kicked for an attacking lineout which they won drove the ball forward before Reid broke off the rear of the maul, going down the blindside to score in at the corner. Without the extra points being added Manor moved the score onto 0 – 39 with a couple of minutes left to play.
Ruislip finished the game on the attack when Manor gave away a couple of penalties allowing their hosts to have some much need time inside Manors 22. With the clock running down, try as they may Ruislip could breakthrough Manors watertight defence and when another crunching tackle knocked the ball out of the grasp of a Ruislip player the ref brought to a close the contest.
Manor had won the game without really being troubled. Ruislip gave their all for the whole of the match but in the end were distinctly second best on the day. Manor now have a week off before they welcome high flying Colchester to the New Wilderness. Both sides have an unbeaten record and Manor know that none of their performances to date will be enough to win against Colchester. If they can put together a complete performance for 80 minutes there is no reason why they can’t come away victorious.