Only a win will do in top of the table clash

Roydon, Norfolk. Diss RFC Coach Roger Coombs ANL-141210-215205009
Roydon, Norfolk. Diss RFC Coach Roger Coombs ANL-141210-215205009

Roger Coombs has warned his Diss RFC players that he expects nothing less than a victory in their top of the table clash with Saffron Walden.

In their first league encounter of the new year, the Mackenders-based outfit recovered from a lacklustre start to overcome second-bottom Campion 41-15, clinching their fifth straight win to take them back to the top of the league as a result of Saffron Walden failing to clinch a bonus point victory against Ipswich.

And with his side capitalising on the opportunity to regain top spot, Coombs fully expects his charges to lay down a further marker at their nearest rivals (2pm) and prove their London Two North East title credentials.

“It is a huge game on Saturday but we have already beaten them at home earlier in the season and that will do us some good,” said Coombs, whose side overcame tomorrow’s opponents 52-31 in the reverse fixture back in October.

“The fact they failed to beat Ipswich by a big margin is good and will give us confidence of going there.

“The only issue is that they have a difficult pitch at Saffron Walden and so a lot will depend on the weather and conditions.

“However, I’ll be expecting my team to really get at them from the first whistle and so, hopefully, that is what they’ll do.

“They might have changed their team from the last time we played and so that might be a little different but we will go there full of confidence.

“It is a great chance to put a marker down and that is what we will intend to do; we need to win, it is as simple as that.”

On Saturday, Diss found themselves 12-3 down in the opening 20 minutes but demonstrated their pedigree with a devastating second-half display to highlight just why they are firmly in the promotion picture this season.

And while the head-coach was far from happy with his side’s opening to the encounter, he was quick to praise their resilience to find a solution and gain a positive result.

“We were very poor in the opening 20 minutes but I’m really pleased with their second-half display,” he added.

“There were obvious problems there and they put them right; that’s the sign of a good side.

“It was our mistakes that were punished but in the end we did what we needed to do and eventually we showed the sort of rugby we are capable of.

“I’ve always told my players that games are won in the final 20 minutes, not the first; you have to keep patient under pressure and that is all credit to them.”