LONDON TWO NORTH
Captain Fraser Hall has challenged Diss RFC to pick up where they left off after the upcoming festive break following a derby-day win over rivals Holt.
Diss headed into the encounter on the back of successive victories that had seen them remain second in London Two North East, while their opponents came in to the match in fourth place.
However, despite the large crowd expecting a hard-fought encounter it was not to be the case as the home side dominated throughout to go into the interval with a 15-0 lead before building on that momentum to romp to an emphatic victory and gift wrap their fans the perfect Christmas present.
But while the skipper was delighted with the manner of the victory, he was quick to warn his side not to get complacent over the two-week break as they aim to maintain their title charge when they begin the new year with a visit from Campion on January 9.
“Usually in these types of matches it’s down to fine margins, but we did exactly what we needed to do and we’re all delighted,” said Hall.
“It was a classic derby game, there was a bit of niggling, both teams fighting hard and we knew what we had to do and I’m really proud of the boys.
“To see the sidelines packed with people and everyone having a brilliant afternoon is what it is all about and to be able to put on a performance like that for them is amazing.
“It was also a brilliant way to end the year as well, but there is still plenty of work to do in the new year.
“In all honesty, I don’t really want the break to come. When you’re on a roll you don’t really want to stop playing.
“We can’t afford to let it slide now and every game is a cup final for us because if we want to win promotion you can’t afford to drop any points.
“Saffron Walden are pushing hard along with us and we need to make sure we stay on top of our game.”
After a cagey opening to the encounter, the hosts finally broke the deadline after 11 minutes courtesy of Phillip LeLievre’s simple penalty attempt in front of the posts.
The visitors spurned the opportunity to hit back immediately with two missed penalties of their own before Diss took full advantage of the let off by scoring the first try of the afternoon.
Prolonged pressure on the left-hand side finally resulted in Matt Richards receiving the ball before charging through the Holt defensive line and over. LeLeivre somehow missed the simple conversion to leave the score at 8-0.
However, just two minutes later, the home side extended their advantage as Kamipeli Latu was on hand to finish a fine flowing move through the centre to score directly between the posts. This time LeLievre added the simple conversion to send the home side in at the interval 15-0 ahead and in full control.
The second-half started with the visitors again missing a chance to reduce the deficit with a short penalty attempt before Diss missed their own chance from a penalty with LeLievre unfortunate to see his effort come crashing back off the post.
However, the home fans did not have to wait long to be cheering another score as Josh Ludkin was on hand to add an unconverted try in the 50th minute before LeLievre made amends for some inconsistent kicking with a superb individual try after 56 minutes.
Picking up possession he weaved his way through the Holt defensive line before going over, much to the delight of the large home following. The same player stepped up to convert his own try as the home side sealed a maximum bonus point.
With Michael Fuller, Jamie Burroughs, Jack Peacock and substitute George Gooderham continuing to dominate proceedings, Diss were able to play at their own tempo as Holt struggled to get a foothold in the encounter.
Roger Coombs’ charges were enjoying a lot of joy down the left-hand side and it was to prove the case again after 65 minutes as Sean McClure picked up possession in his own half before racing away down the wing to score with ease. McClure converted his own try to extend the advantage to 34-0.
The visitors’ frustration was clear to see and their task was made harder moments later as they had a player dismissed for a clash off the ball.
Diss took full advantage of their numerical advantage with Hall getting himself on the scoresheet, finishing off another fine move, again converted by McClure, before the impressive McClure added the final score with a moment of quick thinking.
After charging down and blocking an attempted kick, McClure chased the spinning ball over the try line to touch down the dead ball and score. He stepped up to convert with ease to wrap up proceedings and keep Diss on track for promotion.