Diss RFC head coach says table-topping clash ‘like any other’

RUGBY: Diss v Norwich. Head coach Dave Smith.
RUGBY: Diss v Norwich. Head coach Dave Smith.

Diss RFC head coach Dave Smith insists he is treating this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash with South Woodham Ferrers like any other.

The Mackenders-based outfit currently hold a one-point lead at the top of the London Two North East table, ahead of visiting their nearest rivals Woodham tomorrow afternoon (2.30pm).

Last week was just as important in that we needed to go out and get five points

Diss RFC head coach Dave Smith

The race for the league title and automatic promotion is seemingly now a two-horse race, with third place Cantabrigian 18 points adrift of leaders Diss with six games of the season left to go.

But despite Woodham’s first-team manager Jack Kershaw this week describing this weekend’s clash between the top two as “the club’s biggest game in its history”, Smith says for Diss the game is as important as any other game they have played so far this season.

“It’s no more important than the weekend before,” he said. “Last week was just as important in that we needed to go out and get five points.

“We’ll go there and give it our best. We’ve beaten them once this season, so we know how we’ve got to play.

“They’re a good side, they wouldn’t be second (in the table) if they weren’t, but we wouldn’t be first (in the table) if we weren’t a good side either.”

Diss go into tomorrow’s game in a rich vein of form, with last weekend’s 36-7 home win against Epping Upper Clapton their ninth straight win in all competitions.

But Smith admits he was not completely happy with his side’s performance last time out against Upper Clapton.

“I was pleased with the second half but I wasn’t pleased with how we played in the first half,” he said.

“We were only 14-7 up but we had scored in the first minute of the game.

“I lost my rag with them and there was a lot of swearing at half-time, and you know when they need it when they don’t answer back to you.

“It was a really good reaction from them in the second half though, sometimes you need to give them a kick up the backside!”

Diss will be boosted by the return from injury of left wing Phil LeLievre (calf) tomorrow.