Diss RFC 40 Luton RFC 19
By Alan Gittins
Performing with a passion and an accelerated level of confidence
Performing with a passion and an accelerated level of confidence allowed Diss to totally dominate the second half and bring a real New Year cheer to the Mackenders faithful. The inspirational decision to play Chris Beaird
at scrum half created a front foot approach from the Diss eight and allowed Beaird to exploit and command the close quarter encounters that eventually proved so decisive.
Both sides played with a willingness to attack from the start allowing for a truly exciting if rather error strewn encounter that reflected two sides struggling in this very competitive league. Diss drew first blood with a close quarter drive led by the ever present John Laurie
that eventually saw Chris Beaird
crash over close to the posts. Beaird converted his own try to give the home side an early lead. Luton responded immediately scoring two tries in quick succession. The first following sharp handling that sent Tyler Pickford over in the corner and a second constructed from a driving maul that saw number eight Callum Strachan double the visitors lead. Whilst Luton had the upper hand at this point, Diss responded with such passion and determination that it only became a matter of time before the home side’s endeavours would be rewarded.
and John Laurie
now took control of proceedings. Inspiring the likes of George Easton
, George Jones
and Ali Brooks as well as lifting the pace of the game. A superb and subtle off –load from John Laurie
sent the ever improving Michael Jones
over to level the scores. On the cusp of half time John Laurie
scored from a commanding Diss scrummage to give the home side a fully deserved lead. Chris Beaird
converting both tries to give the side a level of hope and confidence for the remainder of the game.
Within five minutes of the restart Chris Beaird
broke from an attacking ruck on the Luton twenty two. Breaking through four tackles, Beaird crashed over to send the home crowd into raptures, creating a feeling that perhaps today was the day for a Diss revival. Luton responded immediately scoring a third try out wide on the left to bring the scores to within nine points. When Diss have found themselves in this position previously this season a lack of cohesion and clarity has developed. Not this week. With the Line out functioning far more efficiently and Warren Wilby
and Tom Miller
shoring up the midfield, Diss now totally dominated the game. John Bergin
now found himself leading a side very much on the front foot. Following four accurate phases and a superb line out win, Freddie Precious was sent scampering over to score his first try of the day. Luton had by now resigned themselves to defeat but gamely went in search of a four try bonus point. Superb defence from the entire Diss side enabled Diss to create a number of clear cut chances. George Jones
went close following superb handling from the experienced and calm influence of Warren Wilby
. The introduction of the Hudson brothers had the desired effect up front. Matt Richards
, Peter Bray
and Michael Jones
had worked hard all afternoon, gradually wearing down the Luton front five. For the purists in the crowd the taking of the ball against the head in the closing stages was only surpassed by seeing Freddie Precious dash from the half way line to score another outstanding team try. So many players had played their part in so many supportive roles. None more than Adam Goymour
and Shaun Blyth
at full back and left wing respectively. Whilst no one is more acutely aware how difficult the remainder of the season will be than the players and coaching staff, this victory gave the team the confidence boost and lift it has fully deserved.