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Captain Frazer Baron looks ahead to Diss Rugby Club's Norfolk Senior Cup campaign

Frazer Baron believes an extended format for the Norfolk Senior Cup presents Diss Rugby Club with an early chance to build for next season.

The Mackenders-based outfit saw their Counties 1 Eastern Counties campaign come to an end with a 50-28 defeat at Ely on Saturday.

With the final round of league fixtures to be played this weekend, Diss are confirmed as finishing in 11th place in the table.

Diss captain Frazer Baron (far right) in action earlier this season Picture: Mark Bullimore
Diss captain Frazer Baron (far right) in action earlier this season Picture: Mark Bullimore

The second from bottom position leaves the club with a wait to see if they will be reprieved of relegation, but in the meantime Clive Bell’s charges switch their focus to their end of season cup programme.

With the competition adopting a round-robin group stage, Diss host league rivals Southwold on March 25, in the first of four games, ahead of facing Norwich, North Walsham II and rivals Holt.

“Clive said to us the league season is over and now he’s going to look at the cup as a bit of an experiment,” Diss captain Baron said.

“He’ll be trying some people in different positions and trying things to see what works and what doesn’t work.

“The pressure’s off us now a little bit, so we’re looking at the Norfolk Cup as a bit of an enjoyment process and to try new things.

“Hopefully it can kind of kick-start us into pre-season and then we carry that into next season.

“It’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy season for us, but credit to the players. We’ve had quite a lot of lads that have stepped up when injuries and unavailability have crept in.

"We might not have had the consistency of an 18 or a 23-man squad, but it's been a great opportunity for some of the youngsters, who have probably come through the Colts and the thirds and the second team, to get a taste of first team men's rugby.

"We've got a good core group of players who we're ready to build around. If we can develop that core group a little bit then the success will come I think."

Last time out at Mackenders, Diss snapped a six-match losing run with a 61-10 thumping of West Norfolk on March 4. It was the most points Diss have racked up in a league fixture for more than three years.

"It was a fantastic week," Baron said. "It was great for just as a club in general, for the supporters, to go out there and put a bit of a statement down.

"We played some fantastic rugby and it's something we had been lacking was putting in a full performance.

"It was great to see every single aspect of what we've been working on was firing well. If I'm being harsh we probably could have scored more!"

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