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Derby gives Diss chance to bounce back

The scoreline may have made for grim reading, but Diss RFC head coach Dave Smith was pleased with certain aspects of his new-look team’s performance during their opening day loss at Colchester.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith

And, heading into tomorrow’s home derby against North Walsham (3pm), Smith is hoping his men can kickstart their 2018/19 season by giving a bumper Mackenders crowd something to cheer about.

Colchester, who are expected to challenge for the London 1 North title this term, were too strong for the Blues, eventually running out victors by a 55-5 margin.

However, while accepting that there is plenty for his men to work on as they look to forge some understandings, Smith was happy with the togetherness on show in the face of adversity.

“We had a couple of injuries going into the game and while that is not an excuse, it did not help us,” he said.

“Colchester are going to be up there in the top two or three and so we knew we were going to be up against it.

“We have lost a lot of players over the summer, but what our lads showed at the weekend is that they want to wear the blue shirt.

“There were certain aspects of our play I was not happy with, but the unity and desire to fight for each other was fantastic.

“What we lack in ability we will certainly make up for in team spirit.”

That ‘team spirit’ will be required tomorrow when rivals North Walsham – one of Smith’s former clubs – are the visitors.

They have a good head-to-head record over Diss in recent years and started the campaign with a convincing 59-0 win over Fullerians.

Smith said: “They are a good side, but this a derby and anything can happen.

“We are going to need to show the same spirit as we did against Colchester, and improve, with and without the ball.

“There is going to be a bumper crowd and it is great for Norfolk rugby.

“Winning is the main thing, but we want to enjoy it as well.”

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