Vikings inflict heavy defeat on Diss
North Walsham 40 Diss 0
Norfolk’s Finals Day at Crusaders brought down the curtain in painful style on a season of near misses for Diss, well beaten by the Vikings.
Games between old rivals are always keenly anticipated, and this match was the star attraction of a day of rugby finals at Crusaders, a new concept by Norfolk RFU which proved highly successful.
Playing down the slope in the first half the Vikings were quickly into the Diss 22.
An early score for Will Hodgson was disallowed, with the final pass judged to be forward.
Diss had an opportunity to get points, but a longish penalty into the breeze went just wide. The first score came after nearly 20 minutes when a forward drive went over the line and Shane van Vuuren dived in to apply downward pressure, Matt Hodgson adding the first of five conversions.
Matt Hodgson was clearly on fire, and linked up with brother Will before finishing off for the second try.
The pack were clearly on top of a below-strength Diss eight in the set pieces, with the Diss front row always struggling in the scrum.
Aki Downing came on to give Stuart Loose a breather, and Diss soon went one man down after a scrum infringment produced an inevitable yellow card.
Matt Hodgson finished off a fine move with his second touchdown, and the half ended 19-0, with the Vikings comfortably in control.
It looked very much as though the Vikings would cut loose in the second half, but Diss, despite rarely getting a foot into the Vikings’ 22, did make life difficult with some solid defence.
When they did break out they found Wayne Williams impossible to get past.
Despite not being totally happy at playing No. 9, Van Vuuren was having a stormer, and in the eyes of many was man of the match.
His passing was pinpoint and his chasing impressive.
Play was now almost all in the Diss half, and their cause was not helped when they lost a second player to the sin bin.
A big forward effort saw Tim Williams held up inches short, but Downing was on hand to apply the finishing touch.
Having nearly cut a Diss attacker in half , Wayne Williams reversed the process, driving straight at a couple of defenders who had little chance of stopping him scoring.
The final try came fittingly for Van Vuuren, who dived over wide out to put a seal on an outstanding performance.
A check of the records going back to the 93-94 season indicates this was the Vikings’ third biggest defeat of Diss after a 48-3 win in 2001-02 and a 2013-14 success of 43-0.
Tries: S van Vuuren (2) M Hodgson(2), W Williams, A Downing.