Diss put down marker for season

DISS RFC began their London League Two North campaign with a decisive 33-18 victory over Ruislip, who are a side that finished in fourth place in this league last season.

DISS RFC began their London League Two North campaign with a decisive 33-18 victory over Ruislip, who are a side that finished in fourth place in this league last season.

Diss learned a lot about themselves in this game, and have now put down a marker for the season ahead.

Ruislip kicked off and were almost immediately awarded a kickable penalty after a Diss player went off his feet in the ruck.

The kick was narrowly missed by their centre, and Diss were able to make a relieving kick to touch.

From the line-out Diss were able to steal opposition ball and the pack surged up field before releasing the ball to the backs.

In a foretaste of what was to come, the ball was knocked on just as the home defence appeared to open up. For the next 15 minutes Diss were in the ascendancy but unable to convert their pressure into points.

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It took until the 26th minute for the stalemate to be broken. After more good work by the forwards, good ground was gained on the right hand side.

Prop Tim Groom was able to offload to flanker Mike Fuller who grounded the ball to record the first score. Skipper Adam Williamson converted to give Diss a well-deserved seven-point advantage.

Ruislip kicked off and immediately started to put Diss under pressure for the first time in the game. The Diss defence held out until Ruislip were awarded a penalty on the halfway line for offside.

The kick went up into the Diss 22, where the full-back attempted a mark. Unfortunately for Diss the ball was dropped and the Ruislip full-back was able to capitalise and score in the corner. The try was not converted.

From the kick-off Diss stormed back up-field and after a Ruislip knock on were able to gain good possession in the scrum. With the ball at the base being well controlled by number eight Deaglan Hall, he was able to pick up and surge over the line to score a well-worked try. This was not converted, and half-time arrived with Diss leading by 12 points to five.

The second half began with Diss kicking off and once again gaining good possession from a line-out. The ball was spun wide to the three quarters, but a promising move was halted by a knock on.

The Diss pack turned over Ruislip ball in the resulting scrum, and once again made good ground. Deaglan Hall was able to score his second try by picking the ball from the base of the scrum, and using his strength to make the try. Adam Williamson was able to convert and increase the Diss lead.

This was reduced in the 48th minute when the Ruislip outside-centre converted a penalty after Diss were again caught offside.

Ruislip replaced two forwards, and started to gain some momentum. Diss were being forced to defend for several minutes and, after a neatly-executed move, the Ruislip scrum-half, finished it off by scoring on the right hand side. The try was converted, and Diss had a lead of just four points.

After one infringement too many the referee showed Tim Groom a yellow card, and awarded Ruislip a very kickable penalty which their centre converted.

At this point it looked as if the home side would go on to win the match, but Diss showed their fierce determination by playing some of their best rugby of the match while reduced to 14 men.

When Diss were awarded a penalty on the opposition 22 they chose to go for goal. Although the kick was narrowly missed, Diss kept up the pressure and were unlucky not to score when the ball was sent rapidly down the three-quarter line only to be knocked on at the crucial moment.

Once again Diss turned over opposition ball, and this time the ball was moved quickly as backs and forwards combined. Matt Richards was able to quickly offload to winger Aarron Bliss who showed his pace and scored in the corner. Adam Williamson made a difficult kick look easy, and converted from the sideline to give Diss an eight-point lead.

Just two minutes later, with Diss now restored to full strength, second-row Ali Butler powered over the line to score the final try of the afternoon, which was also converted.