Holt and Diss prepare for first league derby clash of the 21st century

Jack Such celebrates his try in Holt's win at Old Cooperians. Picture: Stuart Young

Jack Such celebrates his try in Holt's win at Old Cooperians. Picture: Stuart Young - Credit: Archant

Diss and Holt meet in a competitive match for the first time this century tomorrow afternoon (3pm) in what should be a derby to savour in London 2NE.

Both clubs have an historical link in the form of the Harrison Cup, which is played for each season, but they have rarely met in the league.

Diss's luncheon is a sell-out and both sets of supporters are anticipating a mouthwatering encounter.

Diss will start as favourites with home ground advantage but the derby atmosphere could inspire either side to great things.

There are also some fabulous match-ups, none more so that the two scrum-halves, Jamie Burroughes (Diss) and Bruce van Poortvliet (Holt) who off the field are good friends but on the field are fiercely competitive. On the other hand there is the vastly experienced Tim Groom against teenager Aaron Cole or Wymondham College versus Gresham's with fly-halves Jack Peacock and Josh Simmons.

Holt go into the game on the back of an away win at bottom side Old Cooperians while Diss will be looking to bounce back following an exciting but ultimately disappointing game at South Woodham Ferrers.

Roger Coombs' team still need to show a higher level of consistency in finishing off try scoring chances and learn to close games out in the latter stages. At times against South Woodham Ferrers, Diss played at a high level of continuity, with the three-quarters showing encouraging potential as an attacking unit. Injuries this weekend still hamper selection although Coombs is able to call on the majority of the side from last weekend and will hope to see club captain Giles West continue his try scoring feats of the last three weeks.

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Peacock, Gus McGrath, Tom Holt and Josh Ludkin will pose a real threat to the Holt's defence so long as the Diss forwards produce enough quality ball from both first and second phase possession.

At the scrummage and line-out Diss have been very consistent this season with the old heads of Groom and Paul Cayley to the fore.

Captain Fraser Hall will now be expecting his forwards to dominate in the loose and release fast ball at the appropriate time for his talented back division.

There is very little difference in ability levels between most of the clubs in London 2NE and tomorrow's encounter against Holt should prove to be no different.