DIVISION ONE NORTH
Old Haberdashers 64
Not for the first time this season, Diss were on the wrong side of a high-scoring contest on Saturday.
The Blues found their visitors, who were one place higher in the league, in top form, to which they had no response, particularly in the second half.
Diss yet again started slowly, conceding three well-worked tries before the game was even 10 minutes old.
Technically, Diss were falling off far too many tackles, thus allowing the away team possession on the front foot, from which they could launch a swathe of attacks at will.
Dave Smith’s men eventually responded after 20 minutes following a typical Stephen Hipwell drive.
Connor McBryde kicked ahead, allowing Harry Gooderham to snatch the ball to open his team’s account.
Soon after, Barnaby Chenery stepped up to slot a 40-metre penalty kick between the posts, bringing the home side back into the game.
However, Diss were unable to control possession and Old Haberdashers responded immediately by scoring again through the their number eight James Clark.
Clark was without doubt the man of the match, playing an impressive off-loading game as well as continually punching holes in a feeble Diss defence.
Diss reduced the deficit to 27-17 just before half-time with a Chenery try that had been crafted following an Arron Forest break.
Those at Mackenders were anticipating tightly-contested second half, but that never materialised.
Instead, Old Habs seized on a Diss error and scored immediately from the restart, meaning that the hosts were once again playing catch up rugby.
McBryde scored for Diss and Chenery completed the conversion from wide on the touchline to reduce the deficit to eight points.
Diss should now have taken control of the game but a lack of composure when in possession and the fact that Old Haberdashers were playing a brand of attacking rugby that Diss could not live with meant that the final quarter saw the visitors score five further tries, orchestrated through an ability to play the game at pace and with a simple and accurate set of handling skills.
A further McBryde try did give Diss a four-try bonus point that at least meant something could be taken from the game, despite the big deficit in the final scoreline.
The result has left Diss 10th in the standings with a return of 32 points from their 16 outings.
Tomorrow, Smith’s men return to action on the road at second-from-bottom Letchworth Garden City (2pm).