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1st XV - Match centre

Eton Manor
Sat 3 Feb 14:30 - London & SE Division - London 1 North Full time

Diss RFC 1st XV 12 v 45 Eton Manor 1st XV

At this stage of the season, Diss find themselves very much a side in transition

Having to play at Bancrofts Rugby Club in conditions that dictated an accurate approach to retaining the ball as well as a game plan that placed the opposition on the back foot proved beyond a gutsy and determined Diss team this week. Eton Manor were street wise to the tactics needed ,consistently kicking deep into the Diss half and then defending well awaiting handling errors from the Norfolk side.

When in possession Eton Manor attacked at pace coupled with an accuracy that Diss struggled to live with for most of the afternoon.Playing conditions underfoot deteriorated throughout the afternoon although this did not hamper the Eton Manor three quarters who responded well to a well- judged cross kick to open the scoring on two minutes. A powerful drive some ten minutes later resulted in a further Manor try that placed the visitors further on the back foot. Led by the ever welling Jon Bergin and Stephen Hipwell, Diss gradually clawed their way back into the encounter. Momentum has been restored but inaccurate kicking allowed Manor to score a superb try following outstanding handling off the ground from their Captain, Elliot Houghton.

Diss approached the half time whistle with renewed vigour and following intelligent approach work from Shaquille Meyers, Ed Hudson held onto a superb inside pass to open the Diss account and give the team a boost before half time.
Conditions underfoot deteriorated dramatically during the second half thus affecting both sides ability to play an attacking game of any sort. Eton Manor seized possession from the outset and pressurised a stretched Diss defence. Todd Wishart had a very accomplished game at Full back. Fielding the ball regularly and striving manfully to take the game to the opposition. With the Diss eight under pressure in the tight as well as struggling to retain line out possession consistently, the third quarter proved a very one sided affair.

Superb defence from the likes of John Laurie, Fraser Hall, and Will Hudson did stem the flow but in the end a tide of pressure gave the Eton Manor centres too much space from which to exploit and breach the tiring Diss defence. Led by Aaron Forest and Stephen Hipwell, Diss drove deep into the Manor twenty two setting up John Laurie for a customary close quarter try that lifted the visitor’s spirits at the end of the encounter. At this stage of the season, Diss find themselves very much a side in transition. New players are trying to adapt to the playing patterns, in order to challenge in a positive manner whilst having to play in a demanding and tough League structure.

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