James Dobbler and Lewis Steard securing ball. Picture: Roz Bridges

RUGBY UNION: Errors again cost West Norfolk in their fifth consecutive loss of the season, 36-29 at Diss. 

However the King’s Lynn-based side took away a huge amount of positives from a hotly contested fixture earning them two losing bonus points. 

The two Norfolk-based sides clashed for the first time in a number of years in the same league with Diss previously playing in leagues above London NE2 for a number of years, and the game did not disappoint for the neutral.

In the opening minutes Diss took advantage of a napping defence with their backs breaking a number of tackles to score in the corner. After some strong words under the posts West looked to reply quickly. 

Sustained pressure through carries from Dan Nunn and Henry Rust positioned West inside the Diss 22. Centre Jack Wicks used his quick thinking and darted towards the corner releasing Lewis Stewart who went over for West’s opening score. 

Despite Diss adding two further scores, West looked to dominate up front and through their powerful scrum, the forwards provided a solid platform for scrum half Olly Denton to distribute to fly half Sam Moses. 

Eventually West’s persistence in the forwards paid off giving the visitors a penalty which Moses converted, taking West to within a converted try going into half-time, which came with Diss leading 15-8.

Unlike previous weeks, West started the second half brightly with some wonderful link up play between centres Jack Wicks and Angus Williams who released wingers Jack Windass and Alex Barwick on a number of occasions. Eventually in a sweeping move across the field, Moses put full-back Charlie Moore into space and he sprinted his way under the posts for a try, converted by Moses. 

Soon after, the front row of Nunn, Rust and Bridges again provided a solid platform for the West backs to use quick hands putting Windass away in the corner, superbly converted by Moses. Unfortunately West were unable to hold on to their seven-point lead for long with Diss using their pacy backs to score two converted tries in quick succession giving the hosts the lead once again. 

West’s set-piece again functioned well, led by Dan Stephenson at the lineout allowing Moses to co-ordinate proceedings up the middle. 

In a training ground move, West shifted the ball quickly to the wing allowing Barwick to use his pace to fly over in the corner, giving West a glimmer of hope. Moses added a well-struck conversion from the touchline. 

Unfortunately Diss worked their way up to the West 5m line. After a number of powerful carries, the Diss second row and captain powered over the line under the posts allowing for an easy conversion to take the hosts seven points clear. 

Despite a flurry of carries by West in the dying moments and to demonstrate the story of the season so far, a handling error brought an end to the game. Adrian Flux Man of the Match was Connor Clarke.

Head coach Aaron Beaumont commented: “It was a great end to end game for the neutral! 

“The guys worked really hard especially in attack and showed some good phases of play breaking Diss down on a number of occasions. 

“We also showed a lot of patience and were able to finish most of our opportunities. 

“We still need to work on our finishing especially with handling and running from depth but once again there were lots of positives to take away.

“The set piece was a big positive, winning all our own scrums and taking four against the head whilst our lineout operated efficiently. 

“We let ourselves down by switching off at key moments allowing Diss to get themselves back in the game after we had got level or ahead. We are becoming much more consistent as a team and just need to work on the finer details which will get us the win we deserve.”

Tomorrow West return to Gatehouse Lane against bottom side South Woodham Ferrers, kick-off 3pm.

West Norfolk Development side also lost in a hotly contested fixture against Norwich Medics 52-34. 

The Vets were in action against Holt 3rds, however a nasty injury to a West player meant the game was abandoned. All at West send their best wishes to the player involved.

West Norfolk Development are at home to Holt 2nds, 3pm.