Rugby rivals are ready for battle

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DISS should have a strong following of supporters when they make the short journey to local rivals Bury St Edmunds tomorrow (3pm).

The two sides are separated by just one position and four points in the London One North table ahead of their derby match at The Haberden.

Although the winning side will be able to claim bragging rights until the reverse fixture at Mackenders on April 14, coach Phil Sharpe insists it is just another game for his team.

“Bury v Diss is always a big match, but between us, the players and the coaching staff, it is just another game,” said Sharpe, who spent 10 years at Bury as a player in the 90s and 00s.

“The fact I have history with them is irrelevant — we will just be focusing on what we do.

“We need to maintain the momentum we have got, but we are under no illusions that this is going to be a very good game, because they also have some very good players.

“I’ve had loads of supporters telling me they are going and how positive the stuff we are doing on the pitch is for everybody in Diss.”

Bury currently occupy third in the table and are keen to push for promotion to the National Leagues, having narrowly missed out last season, while Diss are rebuilding having had a difficult two years at the level their Suffolk rivals strive for.

But a bonus point success for the Norfolk team would push them above their hosts and stretch their unbeaten run to nine matches, having defeated bottom club Braintree 50-5 on Saturday.

Number eight Andrew Horne bagged a hat-trick while Warren Wilby touched down twice in the comfortable success. “We were quite a weakened side on Saturday, but it gave us a chance to reflect on our strength in depth, which we are happy with,” said Sharpe.

“We have players from the first, second and third teams turning up to training and when they have to step up, they understand the game plan.”

Diss (from): Matt Richards, Chris Craven, Peter Bray, Alistair Abercrombie, Keith Rix, Deaglan Hall, James Gowing, Andy Horne, Warren Wilby, Adam Williamson, Aaron Bliss, Matt Gardner, Will Farrer, Steve MacQueen, Tom Holt, Charlie Precious, Simon Cooper, Josh Williams.

l Follow @russclaydon on Twitter for half-time and full-time updates from tomorrow’s derby match.