London One North: Diss 14 Ruislip 26
- Credit: PA
Diss, following last week's disappointing display against Old Haberdashers, were certainly more cohesive and motivated this weekend but still came away without any reward for their efforts and determination.
Yet again Diss were unable to field a side reflecting consistent selection due to the fact that a number of players failed late fitness tests.
Ruislip are a side who like to open the game up as much as possible and showed their intentions from the outset. Diss however had the upper hand in the forward exchanges with Michael Fuller, John Laurie and Deaglan Hall all prominent.
Against the run of play, Ruislip were able to take advantage of poor defensive alignment and score a converted try after 20 minutes. Diss responded in determined fashion and were awarded two penalties. Peter Chartier was successful with both and Diss now produced their best spell of the match with the forwards and backs combining well to set up a number of scoring opportunities, culminating in a well-taken try by Deaglan Hall from the base of a solid scrummage. Diss now led 11-7 and for the first time in a number of weeks were beginning to assert control over the opposition.
Unfortunately, due to careless handling in the middle of the park, valuable possession was lost and Ruislip seized on the mistake to score and take a 12-11 half-time lead.
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The second half saw Diss yet again driving close to the Ruislip line but yet again coming away with no reward for their endeavours. Yet another handling error in midfield allowed Ruislip to attack at pace and score a further converted try to stretch the lead to 19-11.
Chartier responded with a well taken penalty to bring Diss back into the game at 19-14 and the forwards then attacked with real venom. Peter Bray, Matt Richards, John Laurie and Luke Bailey all went close and although it appeared Diss had scored, the referee was unsighted and rightly could not award the try. The game could have gone either way but another handling error allowed Ruislip the opportunity to drive close to the Diss line and score another converted try.
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Diss had the greater amount of territory and possession but lacked the confidence, precision and experience to close out the game.