Errors cost Ipswich as they fall to opening day loss

Diss v Ipswich

Diss v Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A glorious autumn day on a perfect pitch and a very decent crowd were not enough for the home side as Ipswich lost 20-7 to Diss.

Everything was set for a great exhibition of running rugby, but disappointingly, for the home support, that was not to be, after a tentative start from both sides, errors and turnovers were decisive in returning Diss as victors.

Diss scored first after impressive Kiwi no.8 John Laurie evaded a couple of tackles to release supporting players and make it 5-0 after the conversion was missed.

The Ipswich half-backs, with new scrum-half Josh Ralph playing his Ipswich league debut, were working well and Ipswich gained territory.

But possession turned to Diss who spun the ball left just outside their 22 – only for Ipswich captain Chris Blom to intercept, burst through the Diss line and evade a few despairing tackles to post Ipswich’s first try of the season, which was converted by Josh Ralph to make it 7-5.

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Ipswich then had their best spell of the game and pressed again to gain territory and were awarded two kickable penalties, both missed closely by Ralph.

The error count was high as Ipswich strove to impose themselves with way too many turnovers and handling errors and when Diss pressed at the end of the first half with a series of rucks the Ipswich defence were drawn in.

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Diss backs were finally able to spin the ball wide to the left to release wing Giles West to post an unconverted try shortly before the end of the first half.

That meant the teams turned round with the score 10-7 in favour of Diss.

Ipswich Chairman Roy Steward was concerned – “a bit rusty and a few too many mistakes” was his view at the break.

In the first few minutes of the second period neither side seemed able to break through, handling errors and turnovers meant that there was not much pattern to the game.

However Diss did seem sharper and won ruck ball more reliably than the team in black.

Once again the Diss number 8 was able to step out of a number of tackles and Ipswich conceded a penalty which was converted by Phil Lefrieve to make it 13-7 Diss.

Diss continued to press Ipswich in defence and were always sharper at breakdowns.

That led to good possession and a strong Diss back line drove forward ominously.

Ipswich centre Carlton Littlechild made a great try-saving tackle but Diss were just able to offload and release centre Josh Ludkin to score, with the conversion making it 20-7, and that’s how it finished.

Unfortunately for Ipswich it had been a game of errors.

And coach Clive Bell was clearly disappointed.

He said after the match: “We were far from clinical at the breakdown, our defence at times was good, but overall we made too many errors”.

Captain Blom added: “It’s not the start we wanted but a game like this shows up our weaknesses and we will be working on these, we will bounce back next week.”

Ipswich travel to Saffron Walden next week looking to kickstart their seasom.

For the victors, Diss committee man Tony Alston was delighted with the outcome.

He said: “For us it was a good game to open the season.

“Diss were always looking to play the expansive game, Ipswich having been relegated had a reputation to defend and seemed more tentative.”

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