London 1N: Diss 9, Chingford 28
Diss responded in a very positive manner following last week's disappointing performance against Tabard.
Coach Simon Hill and director of rugby Paul Cochrane had asked the players for a passionate response and were both rewarded by a totally committed and determined approach from the entire squad. Chingford are without doubt the form side in the league at the moment and in the opinion of many observers this Saturday the best side in the division.
A number of key players were missing from the Diss team and this ultimately proved decisive. That said, their replacements stood up to the mark remarkably well and were instrumental in giving Chingford one of their hardest games of the season. Diss took an early lead following a Chingford infringement close to the breakdown. James Wyatt calmly slotted the kick. Early exchanges were very competitive as both sides tried to get some sort grasp on the game. Chingford were then able to create a number of phases of play before releasing their winger out wide for a well taken try that was not converted.
Moving Jamie Burroughs to scrum half was beginning to pay dividends defensively. Diss were subjected to a sustained period of pressure in the 10 minutes before half time. What was apparent was the fact that the hosts were not going to capitulate as they had done the previous week. Tackle after tackle was made and the Mackenders' crowd cheered the side off the field at half time following such a heroic display.
The question in everyone's mind however was the impact this tackle count would have towards the final quarter of the game. But within two minutes of the restart Diss were in the lead following another successful Wyatt penalty.
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The Chingford forwards are a well drilled and sizable pack for this level and eventually their sheer weight and mobility led to three tries being scored. Wyatt then kicked a long-range penalty to bring the scores closer.
The final stages of the game were very much controlled by the visitors but Diss fought to the end. Giles West and Michael Fuller both led by example and Ollie Taylor at hooker and Luke Bailey at number eight were very prominent in the defensive rear guard. Matt Richards and Charlie Crotty had total parity in the scrummage, while Warren Wilby strived manfully to create openings from the limited possession he received in the midfield. While another defeat was disappointing, the side can take a lot of pride and credit from this brave performance.
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