Rochford Hundred 18 Diss 13 – Leaders punished for not making early dominance tell
- Credit: John Bulloch
Diss succumbed to their first league defeat of the season in a match that they should have had sewn up by half-time.
The visitors produced 20 minutes of total rugby in testing conditions and pressurised the Rochford side into defending deep into their own half. Time after time Diss threatened the line, only to be thwarted.
On 21 minutes a flowing move that combined the entire back three eventually allowed Fraser Hall the opportunity to feed Kieran Pask, who drove over to open the Diss account. The leaders thought that they had scored a further try following an outstanding move involving Sean McClure and Phillip LeLievre but the referee correctly judged the final pass to be slightly forward.
The visitors then completely took the foot off the throttle and allowed Rochford a period of total domination and following driving play from player-coach Michael Guest, they scored an outstanding try to take a 7-5 lead into half-time.
Diss began the second half under pressure due to a high error count and after 48 minutes conceded a needless penalty at the breakdown. Rochford now led 10-5 and continued to pressure the Diss 22-metre line. A rearguard action was led by George Gooderham, Kami Latu and Jamie Burroughs but all too often possession was lost at the vital moment. Playing into a strong wind, Diss attempted to break out through their back three and were unlucky not to challenge the Rochford line further.
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On 67 minutes however Rochford drove through their forwards and secured their second try to extend their lead to a commanding 15-5 with 12 minutes remaining.
Diss now upped the ante and attacked from a scrummage on halfway and Gooderham fed McClure who unleashed LeLeivre to score out wide.
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With the conversion missed Diss were now back in the game and were awarded a penalty outside the Rochford 22 with only a few minutes remaining. A decision to kick the penalty brought Diss to within two points.
Rochford then cleverly attacked the left-hand corner and were awarded a final penalty to secure a deserved victory.
In many ways the Rochford side had shown a more determined attitude and depth of passion compared to their opponents.