Diss rugby’s head coach Roger Coombs has questioned Sudbury RFC’s London Two North East title credentials ahead of their top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.
Coombs’ league-leaders head to Whittome Field for a mouth-watering encounter (3pm) with just one point separating the pair in the table following perfect starts to their respective campaigns.
Graham Richards’ charges have built on a promotion winning campaign last season that saw them romp to the London Three North East title with just one defeat as they amassed a mammoth 100 points in the process.
But former Pakistan international head coach Coombs, whose Diss side narrowly missed out on promotion in last year’s play-offs, has raised doubts over Sudbury’s big game experience as his charges look to show why they were a league higher last year.
“We are both playing well but from the outside you would say we are favourites,” he said.
“Sudbury are a bit of a young side and that will be an advantage for us.
“We have players who have played at a higher level and were narrowly beaten for promotion last season.
“We have the scars to prove we can compete at this level and that is a big advantage ahead of what will obviously be a big battle.
“The players I have here are so experienced that they don’t really need a coach, that experience is a massive advantage.
“We have put to bed the hoodoo we had away from home last season by beating tough teams like Campion and South Woodham Ferrers with no real problems.
“They have started well but I don’t think they’ve played some of the bigger teams in this division.
“On paper we are the favourites. We are top of the table and we are going there to win and win it well.
“I believe we have the best front and back line in the league and from the off we will be looking to put them under pressure. It is a big chance for us to prove why we are top of the league.”
Coombs did concede that it may be too early to talk about either side as possible champions, but he is well aware of the magnitude of the clash and the importance a victory could prove at the end of the campaign as Diss aim to strengthen their position at the summit.
“We are the two teams to beat but it is too early to talk about either of us being favourites to be champions,” he added.
“However, it is a big game and could be seen as a possible six pointer. Victory would be big for us and would allow us to pull away from Sudbury.
“If we can do that it would be a massive bonus for us; we’re looking forward to it.”