Duss U14's 15 vs Bury 25
By Peter Allott
...we just ran out of time
Sunday's away match took the team to Bury St Edmunds for an afternoon kick off on Remembrance Sunday. The match was played on a makeshift smaller pitch as the planned one was out of action. It made for a more compact game, and with no posts there was no kicking.
The game was characterised by a well schooled Bury team out-rucking the Diss boys throughout the first half which starved them of possession and broke down their attacks. There was the customary opening score for the opposition, however this sparked the team into action. First, there was the wonderful sight of a training ground move deployed onto the pitch and resulting in a score - 'Thunderbirds are go'. From the move the ball was passed to Ryan Anozia who blasted through the Bury defense to score his first try for Diss, something he had threatened to do with a number of powerful breakaways in the first quarter. Despite being out-rucked Diss played some good expansive rugby. This led to the next try with 'man of the match' Kit Brodie winning a ball and making some excellent ground. The ball was worked by the team outside to Peace Joshua to run free and score putting Diss ahead 10:5. Unfortunately, Bury's counter-rucking and organised play began to tell and they scored three more trys from close range - mainly from 5 yard scrums - before halftime to lead 20:10 at the interval.
Coaches Mark and Johnny reviewed the play with the team and the lessons and feedback were taken on board. The second half started with a quick try to Bury to lead 25:10, and from that point onwards it was a very different match - al Diss. As observed by the Bury coach the whole second half was played in the Bury half. The Diss boys had listened to the coaching advise and became more than a match in the rucks - both in desire and teamwork. The scrum held firm all day and resulted in lots of good ball for the backs who passed it nicely. However the back line was too flat and as a result they were not running onto the ball or making ground. It's another point to pick up in training and would make a significant difference....one step at a time.
After relentless pressure on Bury the team got their payoff with a fine second try from Peace Joshua who rounded the Bury line with pace to score. It was the result of lots of team effort. This also allowed Charlie North, Will Elliott and Finlay Dyson to go very close. In the end time ran out which was a pity as one felt the match could be recovered in this final quarter. Credit must go to Bury who defended doggedly and just held out.
The forwards played well all day and presented a real threat - again mentioned by the Bury coach. The backs did some great stuff, but their impact was mutede by their line positioning and angle, More work needs to be done on making sure they run forward looking for opportunities to break the line, and do so as a unit. They have the pace, skill and strength, we just need that eureka moment to happen. There are also lessons to take away from rucking - ones that can be seen in the way Bury went about this skill. It was about technique and speed, and also about what the first and second person does when they arrive, and how they support the player with the ball.
Overall a really well fought and close match with lots of skill and commitment on both sides. A two try difference is not a lot and one felt with the Diss dominance in the second half was telling.....they just ran out of time to come back to draw or win.
Thanks to Bury for hosting us, and thanks to the many parents and supporters who travelled to Bury.
Next match is our first Norfolk Cup match at home against Crusaders.