Promoted Diss rugby club start the season with a bang at South Woodham Ferrers
- Credit: Archant
Following promotion last season to London 1 North, Diss opened their League campaign with a hard-fought performance against fellow promotes South Woodham Ferrers.
A loss of possession within the first five minutes allowed South Woodham to get off to the perfect start with a well–structured unconverted try.
Diss responded in a positive fashion producing a period of sustained pressure due to an offloading game close to the breakdown. This facet of play proved to be one of the deciding factors within the game, thus enabling Diss the opportunity to relieve pressure at crucial stages.
South Woodham infringements at the breakdown allowed Kieran Pask to comfortably slot two well-taken penalties giving the visitors a slender lead after 20 minutes.
South Woodham responded with a series of sustained attacks and should have taken the lead but a combination of poor decision making and outstanding Diss defence repelled the onslaught allowing the visitors the opportunity to string together a series of driving plays.
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Led by Stephen Hipwell, John Laurie, and the eventual try scorer John Bergin, Diss pressurized the Woodham line forcing themselves over in between the posts, with Kieran Pask converting.
As half time approached, Diss had to yet again defend resolutely. Eventually, Woodham pressure told with a penalty being awarded in front of the Diss posts. The half-time whistle ended a pulsating half with Diss leading 13-8.
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South Woodham initiated a string of determined attacks from the outset following the break.
Super Diss defence led by the outstanding Warren Wilby repelled this onslaught time and time again. One clear indicator highlighting that Diss was not going to succumb was clearly evident following a yellow card for John Laurie when no points were conceded. The whole team stepped up to the mark at this point repelling phase after phase of Woodham attacks.
As the game approached its final quarter Stephen Hipwell began to control affairs from the back of a retreating scrummage and in general open play. While South Woodham lost composure, the more experienced Diss side led by Matt Richards, Jamie Burroughs, Laurie, Kimi Latu and Ali Abercrombie secured a momentum for the rest of the game.
With 15 minutes to go, driving play within their own half allowed Jack Peacock to kick deep into the Woodham 22. Freddie Precious cleverly positioned himself to retain possession to score a wonderfully constructed try that fashioned itself from deep within the Diss half. South Woodham attacked only to be repulsed yet again by Warren Wilby and the entire Diss side.
A more than a satisfactory victory for a side showing a huge heart and a fitting tribute to Latu, playing his last game for the club.