Colchester 55 Diss 5: Blyth try provides late consolation for outplayed visitors
PUBLISHED: 08:11 03 September 2018
Diss opened their London One North campaign with a difficult away fixture and suffered a heavy defeat.
After a positive pre-season, which saw victories at the Stowmarket tournament and under floodlights against Southwold, confidence was high going into the game.
Early exchanges were competitive but it soon became apparent that Colchester were going to dominate through their forwards.
Diss found themselves 19 points down after 15 minutes, having lost possession at a number of crucial breakdowns and fallen off far too many tackles. Line-out possession was also proving difficult to obtain, coupled with the driving play of a totally dominant Colchester eight who were releasing quality ball to a backline keen on running the ball from all areas.
Led by John Laurie and Jon Bergin in the forwards and Warren Wilby and Chris Beaird in the three-quarters, Diss began to produce a level of continuity that allowed the visitors to play at a more competitive level. That said, a 31-0 deficit at half-time showed that the remainder of the game was going to prove a damage limitation exercise. Losing Beaird through injury at the end of the half certainly didn’t help the visitors.
There was a higher level of commitment from Diss after the break, with Connor McBryde and George Jones manfully striving to keep the score down.
As the Colchester eight tired and Diss obtained cleaner possession, scoring opportunities began to present themselves.
Sadly a series of handling errors allowed Colchester to capitalise to score another four tries. Diss needed to keep the game simple and go back to basics - all too often the basic skills required at this level were missing.
Team spirit and the dogged resilience of players like Laurie, Matt Richards, Bergin, Jon Trede and McBryde eventually set up a try scoring opportunity for Shaun Blyth who cut a beautiful line to give the visitors a positive end to the game.
But it was a tough day at the office against a side who will certainly be challenging for honours at the end of the season.