Diss must ditch ‘ping pong’ rugby for Cantabs fixture
Defence will be key for Diss RFC during tomorrow’s trip to Cantabrigian — that is the view of skipper Fraser Hall.
The Blues will make the trip to Sedley Taylor Road (2.30pm) — a venue where they were beaten 19-5 in January — top of the London League Two North East table following Saturday’s 27-20 home triumph over South Woodham Ferrers.
However, that victory exposed some of Diss’ frailties in and out of possession, with the visitors from Essex able to run in four tries, though crucially none were converted.
And up against a notoriously strong Cantabs pack, Hall has warned his team-mates that they cannot afford to be as charitable this time around.
“The biggest thing to take from last year’s games against Cantabs is our defence — it’s going to be crucial,” he said.
“On Saturday it was a bit like ping pong. We would score a really good try and then let them get one back straight away.
“I am not concerned about us scoring points against anyone, but defensively we cannot keep doing what we are doing.
“Their forwards are physical and we need to match that. They are quality opposition so we cannot take anything for granted.”
Four wins on the spin has moved in-form Cantabs up to third, yet they still find themselves 11 points adrift of Diss.
It means victory tomorrow would put some major daylight between the two sides, which even at this early stage of the season could prove decisive.
“A couple of weeks ago the league looked really tight but certain results have allowed us and Old Cooperians 2nd) to open up a gap,” added the captain.
“We want to maintain our position out in front and hopefully extend it — the bigger the gap, the better.
“Essentially our results are all that matters and that is what we are focussed on. But if we keep winning, more breathing space will appear.”
Diss will be boosted by the return from injury of full-back Chris Beaird following a stint on the sidelines, while John Laurie is also in contention.
The number six or eight will have a fitness test.