Basildon 5 Diss 32 – Promotion chasing Diss quick to recover from early setback


- Credit: PA

Diss recovered from the shock of conceding an early try to record a comfortable win over struggling Basildon on Saturday to keep their London Two North East promotion challenge firmly on track.

The visitors promptly served up an element of Christmas cheer by allowing the home side the opportunity to score on two minutes following handling errors on the 22-metre line.

Playing into the wind, Diss were then unlucky when Giles West's potential opening try was disallowed following dynamic total rugby.

Diss now asserted huge pressure on the bottom-of-the-table outfit and on 13 minutes Matt Richards scored following a peel around the base of an attacking ruck. On 23 minutes Will Scott scored a second try, initiated from the Diss 22 and involving superb handling from the three quarters.

Phil LeLievre stepped up to convert and the visitors were now very much on the front foot. A further try for Will Scott on 33 minutes following approach work from Ewan Lawton enabled Diss to enter half-time dominating all phases of the game, although a high error count was of some concern.

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The second half opened with LeLievre slotting an easy penalty to increase the lead to 15-5. Five minutes later Sean McClure broke from a solid midfield scrum and promptly scorched to the Basildon line, running from within his own half.

The game now deteriorated into stalemate, with both teams falling into a malaise.

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More patience and an ability to take the ball one more phase would have been beneficial at this point.

On 75 minutes West scored the bonus point try and Diss led 25-5 as the game drew to a conclusion.

With two minutes remaining a speculative kick through by Basildon was fielded by McClure who unleashed the ball left through the back line. The ball was recycled to the right and eventually found McClure, now positioned on the wing. He scored and LeLievre stepped up to convert supremely from the touchline.

This was a comprehensive win that highlighted progress in a number of key areas, with Sam Jacobs, who was making his debut in the second row, one of the stand-out players throughout the game, putting his body on the line all afternoon.

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