TWO NORTH EAST
Diss RFC guaranteed themselves a top two finish with this dominant victory against third place Cantabrigian at Mackenders on Saturday.
Dave Smith’s charges improved their perfect home record to nine wins from nine league games, as they easily dispatched Cantabs 64-5 to move a step closer to promotion from London Two North East at the end of the season.
But while this latest victory, their tenth league success in a row, helped them edge five points clear at the top of the table and secure a top two finish, it is clear to see Smith and his players only have eyes on the top spot.
“We’re not interested about that,” head coach Smith said, when asked about the significance of securing a top two finish. “It’s difficult to gain anything because nobody beats us here.
“It’s our away games (we’ve got to look at). We’ve got to turn our home form into our away form and we can beat anybody. The only team that can beat us is ourselves.”
The early signs from this game, which pitted first against third in the table, were of it being a tight contest as the two sides shared tries in the opening five minutes at Mackenders.
Hosts Diss took just 33 seconds to breach the Cantabs defence, as Chris Beaird released Joe Brock to score under the posts, before the visitors responded with James Hayward finishing off a great passing move to reduce their arrears to 7-5 after four minutes.
Cantabs pushed for a second try and seemed to have the game in their control as they pinned Diss back into their own 22, but not for long.
The hosts gained some breathing space when Steve Hipwell scored their second try on 16 minutes, making the most of Kemi Latu’s battling run towards the posts.
Diss stretched their lead on 23 minutes as Phil LeLeivre burst through with ease to score in the corner, before Hipwell made sure of the bonus point three minutes later.
The Diss number eight skipped past four Cantabs players before scrambling over the line, with Sean McClure’s conversion extending their lead to 26-5.
Smith’s charges continued to be clinical, with further tries from McClure and Beaird giving Diss a comfortable 36-5 lead at the break.
The scoring rate slowed down at the start of the second half, but four tries in a 20-minute spell helped the home side go out of sight.
Fraser Hall, Giles West (two) and Beaird crossed the Cantabs line in the second half, with seven out of ten successful conversions from McClure helping Diss to a heavy 64-5 victory.
“If I’d of been told this morning we’d win 64-5, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Smith reflected.
“We didn’t play that well to be honest with you. We took our foot off the gas at half time, but that’s what we’re famous for.
“They (Cantabs) play a good style, they try and keep the ball alive, but we were just too strong for them. We should have put more points on the board from my point of view.”
With their nearest title challengers South Woodham Ferrers only managing a 22-5 win at home to Ipswich, Diss moved five points clear at the top of the London Two North East table.
Smith’s men are back on the road with a trip to Woodford (9th) tomorrow (3pm) and can take another big step towards securing the title with a bonus point in Essex this weekend.
Diss: Beaird, Precious, LeLeivre, Wilby, West, McClure, Leeder, Latu, E Hudson, Richards, Abercrombie, Bergin, Brock, Hall (c), Hipwell. Replacements: W Hudson, Hegarty, Passmore
Referee: J Taylor
n Diss Colts slipped to a 26-12 defeat at the hands of Hadleigh.
The hosting Blues looked to be on course for victory when they took a 7-0 lead into the break.
But second-half mistakes were duly punished by visiting Hadleigh, who ran out comfortable victors.
n A combination of Under-15 and Under-16 players from Diss suffered a 34-10 defeat to Brentwood.
Nat Strange scored Diss’ only try, which was converted by Kyle Harwood Lefevre.
The home side’s other points came courtesy of a George Jones penalty.
n Diss Under-14s suffered a 27-5 loss to Ipswich YM.
Tyler Pursehouse dotted down for the young Blues.