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Head coach keen to drop the basketball mentality

MORE PRAGMATISIM: Dave Smith wants his side to cut out the high-scoring games
MORE PRAGMATISIM: Dave Smith wants his side to cut out the high-scoring games

Ahead of tomorrow’s crunch derby at North Walsham (3pm), head coach Dave Smith has conceded his Diss side need to ditch their basketball approach.

The Blues ran in seven tries at Mackenders last weekend but they still ended up losing 47-43 at the hands of visiting Eton Manor.

That was the latest high-scoring encounter involving Diss, who have won by margins of 47-41 and 43-27 — as well as losing 44-24 — in recent weeks.

And with bragging rights up for grabs in Scottow, Smith is looking for his men to be a little more pragmatic.

“It is a case of we score, they score at the moment and that is killing us. It is like a game of basketball,” he said.

“There is some ill discipline in our 22 and we are playing too much rugby in the wrong areas.

“We are a non-territory side and ultimately it is field positions that win you games of rugby.

“I will never doubt the effort and endeavour of my lads – they give everything and they are not professionals, this is not something we can work on every day.

“We just need to find a way of being more pragmatic.”

This weekend’s opponents are well known to Smith, who spent 20 years at North Walsham as a player and coach.

One position separates Diss in seventh from their sixth-placed hosts, and with the rivalry that exists between the clubs, it is shaping up to be an intriguing fixture.

Smith, though, is refusing to get carried away by the occasion.

“It is a derby and they are always big games, there is no getting away from that,” he added.

“But from the point of view of a coach like me, it is just another game we are looking to win.

“If we do the right things in the right areas, we have a good chance.”

Smith has boosted his ranks prior to the trip with the arrival of Isaiah Graham-Hooper from New Zealand.

The Kiwi made an instant impression last weekend, running in five tries for Diss Saracens as they recorded a 41-0 victory over Beccles in the Eastern Counties Greene King Division One North.

And with the paperwork now complete, Graham-Hooper is ready to make his first-team debut.

“We look to bring in young lads from overseas every season,” said Smith.

“You have to take a punt on kids like Isaiah. He comes to us with good pedigree.

“It may have been the second team, but scoring five tries at any level is a big deal.”

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