Essex League Division One Shield: Confident Mark Collins plotting more Dagenham success at struggling Witham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 March 2017

Dagenham's director of rugby Mark Collins (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Dagenham's director of rugby Mark Collins (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to Licencing restrictions

After having the weekend off from competition action, Central Park outfit are looking forward to facing basement club

Mark Collins is optimistic Dagenham can make it back-to-back wins in the Essex League Division One Shield this weekend when they visit lowly Witham.

The D’s were without a competitive match last Saturday, so could take the chance to reflect on an excellent February.

Dagenham beat Pegasus Palmerians at the start of last month, before losing at Harwich, but they bounced back by claiming a fine victory at Burnham two weeks later to lift the mood at Central Park.

“We go to Witham and it would be great to try and make it two wins from two,” said Collins. “It would be the first time we’ve done that in a long while, but it’s all a work in progress for us.

“The big question is whether or not these lads want to stick with it and I think they do. I’ve always said what is crucial is ‘do you want to be a rugby player or somebody that plays rugby?’

“And at the moment it seems like the group I have, want to actually be rugby players and keep on developing.”

Dagenham have made baby steps throughout the campaign having returned to competitive rugby this season after pulling out of the division in September 2015.

The D’s only managed a solitary success in the first half of the campaign, however, and lost 11 times.

But they have shown their potential since, with wins over Pegasus and Burnham and are fifth out of eight teams.

Even during Dagenham’s 56-10 loss at Harwich on February 11, their director of rugby saw plenty of encouraging signs.

Collins added: “When we played Harwich, it was only 13-10 at half time, but they tore us apart in the second half with their front five.

“They had a big pack, but it seems they don’t like travelling, so maybe that is why they are not top.

“With them still to visit us on March 25, we will have to see what happens because we could always get another win there.

“But first of all we have Witham and they are very similar to us because they are rebuilding, so we are all looking forward to it.”

Dagenham will aim to achieve another victory this weekend and make it three wins from four. Witham have lost their last three games, which should only boost the D’s confidence.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Barking and Dagenham Post