Diss below-par in derby clash at Norwich

Diss on the ball during Saturdays game in Norwich. Photo: Andy Micklethwaite

Diss on the ball during Saturdays game in Norwich. Photo: Andy Micklethwaite - Credit: Archant

Norwich 15 Diss 10

A Diss side with an average age of 25 returned to their inconsistent ways with a below-par performance against a Norwich side exhibiting a greater hunger and determination towards all aspects of the game.

Playing against the wind in the first half, Diss started brightly but a lack of precision and control allowed the home side back into the game with the visitors immediately finding themselves under pressure following neat and accurate ball retention from the home side.

The Diss scrummage was yet again dominant, coupled with the line-out being well led by young Jo Brock, but an inaccuracy of decision making and basic handling was already beginning to take their toll. The Diss defence stood firm for 35 minutes until Norwich executed a well-set line-out drive to score their first unconverted try.

Diss now responded in positive fashion following a 40-metre break from the flying Frenchman, Phillip LeLievre. On 39 minutes and for the first time in the game Diss seized possession in the Norwich red zone. Two driving scrummages persuaded the referee to award a penalty try to send a rather fortunate Diss team into half-time with a 7-5 narrow lead.

The elements were now very much to the advantage of Diss and coupled with a dominating forward effort should have proved the springboard from which to secure the game.

A brave and determined Norwich outfit had other ideas however and started to dominate possession and control the game from within the Diss half.

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Jon Trede and Tim Groom tried manfully to lift the siege but yet again a lack of accuracy and an inability to lift the tempo of the game played into the hands of a confident Norwich side. Will Hemment was sent to the sin bin on 60 minutes and some seven minutes later Norwich scored an excellent try combining forwards and three-quarters that eventually allowed Nick Austin the opportunity to score wide on the right. The Diss defensive rearguard of the first half was now struggling to remain cohesive, with a tiring team being put under extreme pressure.

A brief foray into the Norwich half set up a penalty opportunity for Sean McClure to bring the scores back level at 10 each with seven minutes still to play.

Norwich immediately secured possession, being awarded a kickable penalty in the Diss 22. The penalty attempt travelled wide but the visitors somehow failed to clear their lines and conceded an attacking five metre scrummage. From an ensuing series of rucks, Norwich forced their way over the line to score the winning try with minutes remaining.

To emphasis the dominance exerted by Norwich, Diss only entered the Norwich 22 once in the entire game, scoring from that intervention. A bad day at the office was compounded with a positive result for Sudbury against Saffron Walden.

Diss host Watford-based Fullerians in the quarter-finals of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday.