Rochford Hundred 18
Diss went down to their first league defeat of the season in a match that quite frankly they should have had sewn up in the first 20 minutes.
Challenging Rochford Hundred at home has never proved an easy prospect for Diss and, with the elements yet again exerting an influence, Roger Coombs’ men had to be on the front foot from the start.
Diss produced 20 minutes of total rugby and pressurised the Rochford side into defending deep into their own half throughout the first quarter.
Time after time the visitors threatened the Rochford line, only to be thwarted on numerous occasions, but on 21 minutes a flowing move eventually allowed Fraser Hall the opportunity to feed Kieran Pask in midfield to put Diss in front.
Diss thought that they had scored a further try following an outstanding move involving Sean McClure and Phillip LeLievre, but the referee correctly judged the final pass to be slightly forward.
Coombs’ side completely took the foot off the throttle for the remainder of the half and allowed Rochford a period of total domination.
Following driving play from player coach Michael Guest, Rochford scored an outstanding try through their three-quarters to take a 7–5 lead into half-time.
The momentum of the game had now completely swung towards Rochford who would now be challenging in the second-half with the elements behind them, and a sloping left-hand corner that ultimately proved decisive.
Diss began the second-half under unnecessary pressure due to a high error count, and after 48 minutes conceded a needless penalty at the breakdown.
Rochford now led 10-5 and continued to pressure the Diss 22 metre line, and despite a rearguard action led by George Gooderham, Kami Latu and Jamie Burroughs, all too often possession was lost at the vital moment. Playing into a strong wind, Diss attempted to break out through their back three and were unlucky not to challenge the Rochford line further.
On 67 minutes Rochford drove through their forwards and secured their second try to extend their lead to 15-5.
Diss now upped the ante and attacked from a scrummage on halfway, with George Gooderham feeding Sean McClure who unleashed LeLeivre to score out wide.
With the conversion missed Diss were now back in the game and were awarded a penalty outside the Rochford 22 with only a few minutes remaining.
A decision to kick the penalty brought Diss to within two points but the winning opportunity had gone begging, as Rochford cleverly attacked the left hand corner and were awarded a final penalty to secure a deserved victory.