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Diss Rugby Club keen to end recent derby woes against Stowmarket

Head coach Nick Greenhall is hoping his Diss side can turnaround their poor form in local derbies this season when Stowmarket visit Mackenders tomorrow (2.30pm).

During six clashes against neighbouring Wymondham, Norwich, Ipswich and Stowmarket, the Blues are yet to emerge victorious and have been beaten on five occasions.

One of those defeats came at the hands of this weekend’s opponents, with the Suffolk side running out 34-17 victors during November’s reverse fixture.

11/01/2020. Roydon, UK. ..Rugby action from Diss v Epping Upper Clapton. Jake Girdler..Photo by Mark Bullimore. (30123044)
11/01/2020. Roydon, UK. ..Rugby action from Diss v Epping Upper Clapton. Jake Girdler..Photo by Mark Bullimore. (30123044)

Looking at the long-term picture, such results are not causing Greenhall great concern. Yet, he would still like to give the home supporters something to cheer come the final whistle on Saturday afternoon.

“We have not been good enough in those games, simple as that,” said Greenhall, who took over the senior side from Dave Smith in the summer.

“We are still learning and no good side was built in one day. It takes some time and the club has a realistic plan in place that everyone is working towards.

“Everyone loves a derby though and because Diss have been at a higher level recently, clubs want to beat us.

“We are looking forward to this game with Stowmarket. We should have some players back available that have been missing recently and hopefully that gives us a boost.

“We want to get a win on the board, especially in front of our supporters.”

For Diss, the clash with Stowmarket will mark their first fixture since the narrow 26-25 win at the expense of Saffron Walden on February 8.

The home clash with Romford & Gidea Park was postponed due to Storm Dennis, while last weekend’s trip to South Woodham Ferrers fell victim to a waterlogged pitch.

A lack of match action has been a source of frustration for Greenhall, but it has allowed some of the squad to shake off injuries.

Greenhall said: “It has been frustrating and it has even made training challenging. Motivating players that know there is no game at the weekend is tough.

“At the same time we have had a lot of unavailability recently and what the break has allowed us to do is get some of them back for the weekend.

“We would always prefer to keep playing rugby because that is the best way for us to improve as a team.

“But we have been able to regroup, get players back and hopefully we are ready to go again.”

Diss’ home meeting with Romford has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7 with the trip to South Woodham now set to take place seven days later on March 14.

Sixth-placed Diss are one place and six points adrift of Stowmarket, but they do have two games in hand.

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