Thurrock 1st XV 51 – 5 Diss 1st XV, 1st October 2011
This was a game that Diss will want to forget, played on a pitch that was as hard as they found the opposition, played in temperatures as hot as any steam room.
This was as hard a game to play, as any that Diss have played in recent years. With temperatures in the 80’s, and the referee stopping every twenty minutes for water-breaks, it was hard for Diss to build up the momentum they have achieved in recent games. The opening salvoes between both teams were hard and with little quarter given, both sides attacking and defending with equal flair and determination. It was clear that any mistakes would be punished, and it wasn’t long before an impressive run from the Thurrock centre resulted in a penalty against Diss for handling. But as in previous games Diss showed they are made of sterner stuff, the forwards in particular, took the game to Thurrock with a series of rolling mauls and aggressive rucks. This relentless pressure resulted in Thurrock giving away a penalty under their own posts, Hemmant quickly taking it, passed it to Cayley, who bursting through the Thurrock defence and opened the score for Diss with a try.
Thurrock responded with some clever kicking by their fly half, pushing Diss back into their own territory, which was backed up by the relentless pressure from the Thurrock pack. Eventually the lead changed with a converted penalty by Thurrock. To their credit, and given the conditions, Diss tried to play their expansive game, but this was thwarted by a three quarter division from Thurrock, who were showing worrying signs of greater things to come as the game wore on. Keith Rix
was yellow carded, during a melee near the Diss twenty two line, this proved to be a turning point for Thurrock, who scoring two more tries before half time, left the field with a ring of confidence about them.
The second half, as in previous weeks for Diss, was completely different to the first. They kept attacking the Thurrock line, but this was often thwarted by good defensive tackling or handling errors. The difference was that in their counter attacking, Thurrock proved to be the more effective, their backs were proving to be a handful throughout the second half and ran in two more tries, each converted. Diss were still prepared to have a go, with Declan, Fraser and Mike Fuller
notable running at the opposition at every opportunity. Eventually Diss ran out of steam, with Thurrock running in two more tries.
Although the conditions were not suitable for a game of rugby, Diss should take heart from the effort shown against very physical side, and look forward to their next encounter against Letchworth.
Report by Arthur Gittens