London 1N: Depleted Diss thrashed by title chasers Westcliff
Diss travelled to high-flying Westcliff with a very weakened and depleted side that suffered a most humiliating and ultimately devastating league defeat.
With at least 18 first-team players either injured or unavailable this was always going to be a most demanding fixture and one that realistically was going to be about damage limitation rather than securing a much needed league victory.
From the outset it was very obvious that Westcliff were intent on playing an expansive and wide game that was always going to stretch the Diss back three.
Although the Diss forwards competed on a very even keel with the Westcliff pack, at the breakdown and out of the tackle Diss were unable to respond to the speed of the Westcliff players.
On too many occasions opportunities were created by Westcliff following very weak first time tackling that enabled the home side constant momentum in the game.
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Joe Seaman, Michael Fuller, Henry Passmore and Todd Wishart all strove manfully to stem the flow but ultimately weight of numbers and the pace of the game began to tell.
The Westcliff fly-half converted every single try scored and controlled the game wonderfully. For some strange reason and rather unsympathetically the referee also decided to play a 45-minute second half that meant Westcliff were able to score three tries in the last five minutes to reach 100 points.
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The one consolation was a try scored by Matt Richards following driving play from the Diss forwards.
Diss travel to Essex again next Saturday to face Eton Manor, who are competing with Westcliff for the London One title.