‘No panic stations at Diss’ says Coombs

NO PANIC: Diss head coach Roger Coombs
NO PANIC: Diss head coach Roger Coombs
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Roger Coombs insists there is no chance Diss Rugby Club will hit the panic button ahead of hosting Romford and Gidea Park tomorrow (2.15pm).

The London League Division Two North East leaders suffered their first defeat of the season two weeks ago, as they failed to make the most of their chances in an 18-13 defeat at Rochford Hundred.

The Diss head coach is looking for his side to rediscover their winning touch when they return to action this weekend, and has targeted three wins to send them into Christmas still at the top of the pile.

“Every team has a slump in form at some point during the season,” Coombs said. “When you look at this time last year we’d already lost three games.

“We’ve only lost one so far this season so there are no panic stations for us. Yeah we’ve lost our last game and not played last weekend, so we are out of our stride a little bit.

“We just need to concentrate on our game and start playing like we used to. We’ve got a bit tied down in the last few games but we’ve got some good players here and we’ve been the better team when we’ve played against Rochford and against Norwich.”

Diss remain top of the Division Two North East table on points difference, with Saffron Walden now emerging as their closest challengers after beating Sudbury and Norwich in successive weeks.

And with both teams facing a similar run-in before the Christmas break, Coombs is after a hat-trick of wins to preserve their position at the top.

“For us it’s just a matter of plodding on and getting the results we need,” he said. “Most clubs are in the same boat as us where all they want to do is get more points. We know if we win all of our next three games then we’ll go into the break still top, which is the perfect position to be in.”

Although only a first place finish offers automatic promotion into Division One North, Coombs knows holding that coveted position now does provide its problems.

“When you’re top of the league everyone wants to beat you,” the Diss head coach said.

“At this level you can’t focus too much on the opposition. We have to watch them but it’s about playing our own game.

“Against Rochford we should have put away four or five more plays, but we didn’t and the players got frustrated.

“I gave the players a rest at the weekend because we had no game and we’ve put that defeat behind us.”

Charlie Crotty and Will Scott are both expected to return to the side tomorrow, while Coombs will assess the fitness of Mike Fuller ahead of kick-off.