Victory is a must to keep promotion hopes alive
Diss Rugby Club head coach Roger Coombs has warned his side they must win tomorrow’s clash with Sudbury to keep their promotion hopes alive.
A 19-5 defeat away to Cantabrigian in their last league outing has seen Diss drop to third in the London Two North East, one place and three points behind tomorrow’s visitors and nine adrift of current pacesetters Saffron Walden.
And while the Mackenders-based outfit enjoyed a hard-fought 20-17 success over Graham Richards’ men in November’s reverse fixture, Coombs is well aware of the challenge that awaits them as well as the magnitude of the tie and its significance in the race for promotion.
“We need to win the game (2.30pm) if we are serious about pushing for promotion, it is as simple as that,” he said.
“It will be another tough game as it was back in November, but hopefully it will be a repeat of that result.
“Sudbury’s position near the top doesn’t surprise me at all.
“They play an expansive game and are a threat to anyone, we will have to stop them.
“However, if we perform to our full capability then I’m confident we can get the victory.
“We are also back at home and that is a huge advantage. We usually perform better at home in front of our crowd so hopefully that will help.
“A result either way will have a massive effect in the league table, it is so tight at the top between ourselves, Sudbury and Saffron Walden.”
Those who could return to the starting line-up include senior players such Fraser Hall, Jamie Burroughs and Paul Cayley but John Laurie, who returned to action in the 12-11 Intermediate Cup quarter-final victory over Woodford on Saturday for the first time in months, will be unavailable after picking up another injury.
And with his ranks bolstered once again, Coombs is confident of a stark improvement on Saturday’s disappointing defeat.
“We should have a number of key players back in the squad and so hopefully that will give us the advantage we need,” he added.
“Last week we had five usual first team players missing and that made a massive difference, we wouldn’t have lost without them.
“It just shows you the importance of squad depth in this division and the impact missing a number of players can have week to week.
“I’ve looked behind me in the previous couple of weeks and we had a big bulk of our squad watching from the sidelines, that’s never ideal.
“I’m hopeful at least three of those players who were missing will be back for Saturday and that will be huge for us, they’ll make a big difference.”