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Blues tipped to bounce back from big defeat

BOUNCE BACK: Diss are at home on Saturday
BOUNCE BACK: Diss are at home on Saturday

Saturday’s thrashing at the hands of promotion-chasing Brentwood will not have had any lasting negative impact on the Diss RFC players.

That is the opinion of the club’s director of rugby, Alistair Shepherd, who is tipping the Blues to bounce back when Old Haberdashers visit Mackenders tomorrow (2pm).

Diss returned from Essex with a hefty 64-3 defeat, making it just one victory from their previous nine outings.

However, with the weekend’s visitors just one place and a solitary point better off than Diss, Shepherd believes his team are capable of bouncing back at the first time of asking.

“We were up against one of the best sides in the league. They are well organised and well structured,” he said.

“But I expect the team to take it on the chin and move on.

“Sometimes when you get a beating like that, heads go down and the confidence is low.

“But we have some wise old heads in the side and they will help bring the young lads out of their shell and move on.

“Saturday has the feel of a mid-table clash between two evenly-matched teams.

“We are the home team and I expect us to put on a good show for a good crowd.”

Tenth-placed Diss go into the encounter with four London League Division One North victories to their name this term, which has seen them amass a total of 31 points.

There is still a little bit of work to be done before their status is confirmed for another campaign, but Shepherd is hoping the current season will end in positive fashion.

“We do not have enough points just yet to know we are safe from relegation, but there are a few teams below us,” he added.

“This season was all about us easing ourselves in and then taking stock at the end once we are safe.

“It is a very competitive league and the top four are very strong teams — they seem to have much more than the rest.”

“We want to finish strongly and games like Saturday are ones we have identified as being good opportunities to record wins.”

Diss should be boosted tomorrow by the return to action of Todd Wishart, who has spent a number of weeks on the sidelines with a dislocated thumb.

George Luckett is also expected to be involved, while John Laurie may also return from a hamstring injury.

n Diss Saracens were beaten narrowly 16-12 by rivals North Walsham Raiders on Saturday.

The loss — the team’s fourth of the season — has left them third in the Eastern Counties Greene King Division One North table.

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