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1st XV - Match centre

Diss II (Saracens)
Norwich Union
Sat 9 Dec 14:00 - Eastern Counties Greene King League - Eastern Counties Greene King Division One North Full time

A late surge by Union ultimately falls short

Diss run close in a game in icy conditions away from home, but Union's mistakes prove costly

Union suffered away day misery as they are undone by uncharacteristic errors, gifting a well drilled Diss 2s team three tries and another via their strong pack. Union however fought back well with four tries, but left themselves too much to do and were beaten by the clock as they pressed the Diss line. Two close range scrums were repelled, and they also failed to get clean ball from two 5 metres drives, the Diss defences holding firm to see the game out.

The game took time to get going with the cold and icy conditions contributing to both teams making mistakes with ball in hand and resulting in a series of scrums, at which Union were unusually under pressure. A fumble in midfield by Union allowed the Diss number 8 to hack the ball forward, despite a valiant effort to scramble back Diss got there in bigger numbers and scored the first try which they converted to take a 7-0 lead.

It wasn’t long before Union hit back with some great driving play by Michael Shucksmith allowing left wing Daniel Norgate to get over the line to narrow the score to 7-5. Diss however stretched their lead with their classy fullback making light work of the Union midfield defences to score their second converted try taking the lead to 14-5. It wasn’t long before Union struck back with a ruck close to the Diss line allowing quick ball for a rampaging Shucksmith to barge over the line to narrow the score to 14-10 as the half time whistle went.
It wasn’t long into the second half before Diss stretched their lead with two quick tries to open up a 14-point lead at 24-10 the pick of them being a great individual effort by the Diss left wing who chipped and chased down his own kick from 40m out.

Union didn’t let this daunt them and produced their best efforts for the final quarter, with fly half Tom Whitehouse scoring a try from close range following a series of carries by the pack with Ryan Day and Jake Rodwell carrying well and setting up quick ball. Scrum half Lloyd Davis adding the extras to narrow the deficit to 24-17.

Davis was on the score sheet soon after with a trademark sniping break having spotted the blindside unguarded at a ruck on the Diss 5m line, he scampered over to score a try to narrow the gap to two points at 24-22. However, this proved to be the final score of the game, despite Union putting Diss under the cosh for the final 10 minutes, but Union had to settle for two bonus points instead of the five they had hoped to secure.

After the game Coach Gareth Davis said “Hard lessons were learned, but as in the Fakenham game we failed to capitalise on the chances that came our way. There were some outstanding individual efforts with Michael Shucksmith and Jake Rodwell sharing the man of match for me. Next up another hard game at North Walsham 2s, where we certainly have plenty to fight for. The team need to ese the pain of defeat to get to next level guys and stick with our systems.”

Team: Chris Spenceley, Ben Bond-Webster, Simon Pitcher, Matt Spenceley, Ryan Day, Michael Shucksmith, Jake Rodwell, Jonathan Spicker, Lloyd Davis, Tom Whitehouse, Matthew Cook, Daniel Norgate, Shaun Lohan, Graham Hunt, David Sheldon-Smillie Replacements: Noel Jones, Adrien Marie-Francoise
Scorers: Daniel Norgate 1T, Michael Shucksmith 1T, Tom Whitehouse 1T, Lloyd Davis 1T, 1C

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Eastern Counties Greene King Division One North results


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Fakenham 14 70
2. North Walsham II (Raiders) 14 53
3. Norwich Union 14 46
4. Diss II (Saracens) 14 44
5. Norwich Medics 14 28
6. Beccles 14 24
7. Swaffham 14 17

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