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Diss sunk in the mud as hosts Eton Manor prove too strong

PUBLISHED: 09:46 05 February 2018

North Walsham on the front foot during their big win over lowly South Woodham Ferrers at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

North Walsham on the front foot during their big win over lowly South Woodham Ferrers at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

Chasing Rainbows

A tough challenge in testing conditions proved too much for Diss in a match that was switched to Bancrofts Rugby Club.

Eton Manor were streetwise to the tactics needed, consistently kicking deep and then defending well, awaiting handling errors from the visitors.

When in possession Eton Manor attacked at pace and with an accuracy that Diss struggled to live with for long spells.

Playing conditions underfoot deteriorated throughout the afternoon, although this did not hamper the Eton Manor three quarters who pounced on a well-judged cross kick to open the scoring on two minutes. A powerful drive some 10 minutes later resulted in a further Manor try.

Led by the ever willing Jon Bergin and Stephen Hipwell, Diss gradually clawed their way back into the encounter. Momentum was restored but inaccurate kicking allowed Manor to score a superb try following outstanding handling off the ground from captain Elliot Houghton.

Diss approached half-time with renewed vigour and following intelligent approach work from Shaquille Meyers, Ed Hudson held on to a superb inside pass and went over to give the team a boost.

The pitch became even heavier in the second half, affecting both sides’ ability to play an attacking game. Eton Manor seized possession from the outset and pressurised a stretched defence.

Todd Wishart had a very accomplished game at full back, fielding the ball regularly and striving manfully to take the game to the opposition. With the Diss eight under pressure in the tight as well as struggling to retain line-out possession, the third quarter proved a one-sided affair. Superb defence from the likes of John Laurie, Fraser Hall and Will Hudson did stem the flow but in the end a tide of pressure gave the Eton Manor centres too much space from which to breach the tiring Diss defence. Led by Aaron Forest and Hipwell, Diss kept plugging away and drove deep into the Manor 22, setting up Laurie for a close quarter try that lifted the visitors’ spirits at the end.

At this stage of the season, Diss find themselves very much a side in transition. New players are trying to adapt to the playing patterns in order to challenge in a positive manner while having to play in a demanding league.

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