Diss seal place in regional semi-finals of RFU Intermediate Cup


- Credit: PA

Diss recovered from a slow start to book a place in the regional semi-finals of the RFU Intermediate Cup.

It took the visitors at least 30 minutes to start competing following a three-hour coach journey and they found themselves 12-0 down and very much on the back foot.

Hammersmith & Fulham totally dominated the early exchanges and following a series of quick rucks they scored after 14 minutes wide on the right.

On the half-hour a speculative high ball was not gathered cleanly and fell into the hands of the Hammersmith winger who sprinted from just inside the Diss half to score, with the try being converted.

To stay in the encounter Diss needed to score next and following a series of superb drives by the forwards at the scrummage Joe Seaman was able to force his way over. Although the conversion was missed, the travelling supporters quickly assessed that Diss were now in the ascendancy in the forwards.

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However at the beginning of the second half a careless infringement at a ruck allowed Hammersmith to increase their lead with a well taken penalty. At 15-5, Diss needed to respond immediately and the forwards now began to take complete control of the game. The back row of John Laurie, Fraser Hall and Michael Fuller dominated the breakdown and Tim Groom and Matt Richards used their experience to drive deep into the Hammersmith half.

Following a driving maul that travelled 30 metres, Michael Fuller scored a superb try and Jack Keppel converted to bring the Norfolk side right back into the game. The Hammersmith forwards were now out on their feet and at every opportunity Diss drove deep into the opposition pack.

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Ryan Carter, introduced at half-time, was beginning to have an impact in the loose and following an excellent Carter drive and a number of ruthless rucks Diss launched an attack through their back division, with Kieran Pask breaking through a number of tackles and sending Josh Ludkin over. Jack Keppel stepped up to convert and Diss now led with 10 minutes remaining.

The total domination of the Diss eight very soon came to fruition again and from a maul Matt Richards crashed over to seal the victory. Hammersmith attacked valiantly towards the end but by now the Diss defensive organisation and structure meant that no further points were conceded. During this period Henry Passmore, Warren Wilby, John Laurie and Michael Fuller showed their true defensive qualities. This was a hard fought and well deserved victory that highlighted the growing confidence within the Diss squad.

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