Colchester shuffle the pack to secure a fine victory at Eton Manor

Ollie Pickett fends off a Manor defender. Photo: RICHARD PARKER

Ollie Pickett fends off a Manor defender. Photo: RICHARD PARKER - Credit: Archant

London One North Eton Manor 19 Colchester 29

Joe Colcomb scores a great try for Colchester. Photo: RICHARD PARKER

Joe Colcomb scores a great try for Colchester. Photo: RICHARD PARKER - Credit: Archant

Despite having to field three scrum halves due to the absence of regular centres, Colchester managed to secure a well-worked victory over Essex rivals Eton Manor due, in the main, to the precision kicking of wing James Crozier who notched up nineteen points with his boot.

This victory secures the Blacks third place in the league. The altered team saw Brett Cutbush and Damien Brambley in unfamiliar roles in the centre and Sam Easton returning to No 8. Lewis Williams took the scrum-half berth with Matt Wadling moving to full-back.

For 15 minutes the sides tested each other out with the scrums fairly even but Colchester having the edge in the line-outs.

Eventually pressure from the Colchester forwards led to them gaining yet another successful penalty as Manor infringed. Manor came back and worked their way up to Colchester’s try line putting their full-back over for an unconverted try in the corner.

Sam Easton’s return to Colchester was positive, making countless storming runs. Photo: RICHARD PARKE

Sam Eastons return to Colchester was positive, making countless storming runs. Photo: RICHARD PARKER - Credit: Archant


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Substitute prop Jerone Awesu took Joe Mac’s place and play continued. Soon the Blacks won a line-out on the opposition 22 and fly-half David Higgins sped through a gap, offloaded to Easton in support who scored a great try under the posts.

At 13-5 up, a huge surge by the Black pack put lock Joe Colcomb over for a fine forwards’ try. Manor came back and soon their scrum-half darted laterally across the pitch, fed their outside centre who scored a converted try in the corner. Later, hooker Rhys Hartley linked well with jumper Danny Whiteman in a line-out, only for Manor to give away yet another penalty and Crozier took the points.

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Rory Miller came off the bench to replace Colcomb and continue the good work in the set pieces. Later Manor’s tighthead prop was yellow carded for not rolling away in a ruck and the penalty was successfully converted. Getting increasingly frustrated.

Later Manor’s No 9 kicked to the corner and they won their line-out. Using the catch and drive tactic they rumbled over the line for one of their locks to claim a converted try. But Crozier had the last word when he converted his fifth penalty.

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