Diss RFC have been hit with an injury crisis which threatens to stop their two-and-a-half year unbeaten home league record at Mackenders.
After seeing their winning start to the new London League Two North East season come to an end last Saturday at Romford and Gidea Park, Diss return to home soil when new leaders Old Cooperians visit tomorrow (3pm).
Diss have gone through the last two seasons without tasting a league defeat at Mackenders, but ahead of hosting the table toppers this weekend, head coach Dave Smith admits his charges are blighted by injuries.
“It doesn’t help with our injuries at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve got a strong home record and we don’t want to give it up. We’re going into it positively. We want to put last week behind us and will be giving it our best.
“Playing at Mackenders always gives us an extra 10 or 20 per cent. We are well supported and the crowd always help raise the boys.”
The last time Diss lost at home in the league was 916 days ago, on April 5, 2014, when they were beaten 66-12 by Luton in London League One North.
Since that defeat Diss have won 22 and drawn one of their next 23 games at Mackenders when league points have been up for grabs, but this weekend Old Cooperians, who have won all four of their games so far this season, will look to end Diss’ long, unbeaten run at their home ground.
Although Smith is set to welcome back Jamie Burroughs, Mike Fuller, Giles West and Jack Peacock to the squad tomorrow, he will still be without tight head prop Kimi Latu.
Full-back Chris Beaird and blind side flanker John Laurie both sustained injuries during the 24-12 defeat at Romford last weekend and will also miss out.
“It’s the worst start to a season injury wise and unavailability wise that I’ve ever experienced,” Smith admitted. “It is what it is and it happens to other sides as well.
“There could well be portions of the season where we have no injuries, so we’ve just got to take the rough with the smooth and get on with it.”