TWO NORTH EAST
A depleted and injury-stricken Diss found a resurgent Cantabrigians outfit too hot to handle as they were dealt a severe blow in their title hopes.
Cantabs possess the strongest front five in London League Two North East, and continually put the Diss eight under intense pressure at the scrummage, line out and tackle phases of open play.
Roger Coombs’ side kicked off into a biting wind and were put under pressure from the outset, with a determined defence led by Matt Cullum keeping the home side at bay for the first 30 minutes.
Diss repelled a number of five metre line out and scrummage drives from Cantabs, but the hosts found a breakthrough with a converted try just before half-time.
Cullum and Kimi Latu were at the forefront of the Diss rearguard throughout the first-half, but a lack of precision when kicking out of hand was proving to be their Achilles heel.
The pattern of play during the third quarter highlighted two competitive sides trying desperately to gain an ascendancy.
Diss played with passion individually, yet Cantabs showed the more cohesive style and, on 55 minutes, were unlucky not to be awarded another try following excellent driving play from the front row.
The visitors entered the Cantabs 22 for the first time in the game on 62 minutes, as they attacked at close quarters in an attempt to bring themselves back into the game.
But again, no one individual seized the initiative, with possession all too often being driven close to the breakdown rather than being sent wide.
Having relieved the Diss siege, the hosts kicked possession deep into their opponents 22 and after a series of handling errors allowed Cantabs to increase their lead to 12-0. Diss attacked from deep in their own half and presented Cantabs with the ball, which they capitalised on to score a third try and secure the win.
Coombs’ men rallied in the closing minutes when Matt Richards scored a try, which brought a demoralising afternoon to a conclusion.