Diss hope for a thriller

DISS RFC first team travel this weekend to Basingstoke where they hope to have a repeat of the thrilling game at Mackenders when the two sides last met.

DISS RFC first team travel this weekend to Basingstoke where they hope to have a repeat of the thrilling game at Mackenders when the two sides last met.

Basingstoke are now fifth in the table but, apart from Jersey, Diss have scored more points against them than any other side. The Saracens' match against Basingstoke has been called off. The thirds travel to Norwich Union, the fourths visit Watton.

Diss 10, Jersey 66

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The scoreline suggests another thrashing for Diss at the hands of leaders Jersey.

But it hides the fact that the main difference between the two sides was the quick handling and passing in the back line. In the pack Diss fronted up and showed real determination not to let the Channel Islanders have an easy ride.

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With the selection of many Saracens players due to the ever mounting injury problems, it was a much changed Diss team that were welcomed on to the field by the cheering U10s from Diss and Bury St Edmunds, who had played a warm- up match before to entertain the crowd.

It took just one minute for the Jersey backs to show their skills, and within 11 minutes they had 21 points on the board.

But the Diss pack were taking the game to Jersey and soon forced a penalty, kicked by Andy Thorpe.

Again pressure from Diss on the Jersey line led to the maul being pulled down, and the visitors' captain was sent to the side lines for 10 minutes, allowing the pack to push over the line, with Pete Bray emerging to score, Thorpe converting.

The Jersey backs then showed their dominance again, running two converted tries, but the try-saving tackle put in by Giles West, who sprinted from one wing to the other, will live long in the memory.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were highlighted by the bravery and strength of the Diss pack, the tackling of their backs and the sudden sloppiness of their Jersey opposite numbers, who twice had overlaps but chose the wrong options.

The toll of all the work that had been put in, plus the superior Jersey backs, led to 31 unanswered points in the second half but Diss kept battling and with the runs of Tim Groom, and Andrew Horne much in evidence, they can at least take pride in their performance.

With none of the teams below Diss getting a win or bonus points, the league stays as it is, with the south Norfolk side seven points clear of the relegation places.

If some of the injured players return this weekend there may be a selection problem as, on Saturday's performance, nobody's work rate or commitment could be faulted.

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