Diss 13 Eton Manor 43: Yellow cards cost Diss dear against high-flyers
- Credit: PA
Diss went down to a brave defeat against one of the top sides in the league in Eton Manor.
Having to play 20 minutes of the second half with only 14 men meant that Diss conceded 26 points within this period. Once restored to full strength Diss yet again exposed weaknesses in the Eton Manor defence.
Committed and solid defence from the entire Diss team halted early Eton Manor pressure thus allowing the home side to establish a platform from which to attack and play with a higher level of continuity.
For the first time this season Diss took the lead on 20 minutes with a well struck Chris Beaird penalty. Diss now played a period of attacking rugby that really stretched the visitors.
Alex Leader, John Laurie, George Jones and Warren Wilby were combining fluidly. The Diss eight had the upper hand in the tight scrummage but they did not receive the rewards they deserved from the officials. On 30 minutes concentration levels dropped allowing Mike Byrne to crash through far too many loose tackles to place the visitors in the lead.
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Eton Manor now asserted more pressure inside the Diss 22 that warranted brave defence from the whole side. A wonderful turn over from John Laurie secured Diss ball that sent the evergreen Tim Groom deep into the Eton Manor half. With a penalty awarded, Chris Beaird stepped up to strike the ball through the posts to send the home side in at half time only one point down with all to play for.
Exchanges at the beginning of the second half reflected the eagerness of both teams to attack at every opportunity. With 50 minutes played Jack Sullivan the Eton Manor fly half changed strategy and ran directly from first phase possession scoring a well taken individual try to give the visitors a strong foot hold in the game.
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Diss then suffered hugely when Tim Groom was sin binned for a tackling infringement. A series of Eton Manor attacks were thwarted by superb tackling from Connor McBryde and John Laurie. With the strength of the Diss scrum nullified, Eton Manor scored a penalty try from a push over and a second try from Jack Sullivan.
A second yellow card sealed the fate of the home side with further tries being scored by Manor winger Sam Handley and number eight, Michael Eghan.
Throughout the season thus far, Diss have fought to the end and fully deserved their award of a penalty try in the final minutes. Attacking play from Warren Wilby, Alex Leader, Serruys Jorge and Chris Beaird set up a Diss scrum five metres out. Now restored to full strength the Diss eight drove towards the line securing a deserved penalty try. Whilst Manor deserved to win the final score did not reflect how close the game had been apart from the extended period of yellow cards.