COLCHESTER Rugby Club secured home advantage in the play-offs after securing a comprehensive 78-21 victory at Diss, in London One North, writes STEVE WHITEMAN.

The Blacks ran in 12 tries to the hosts' three in their final league game and will now host Brighton at Mill Road on April 27, for a place in next year's London and South East Premier.

Skipper Liam Pickett returned to the team after injury and there was much interchanging during this match between him and the other two locks Ollie White and Alex Burman.

Brock Price made a big impact when he joined the fray for his last game with Colchester before returning to New Zealand.

And Toby Hill also gave an impressive performance when he came on for hard-working prop Alex Mitchell.

Almost straight after their kick off, Colchester won a scrum on halfway, quickly moved the ball to fullback Harry Barton who sped forward and scored.

Wing James Crozier was unsuccessful with the conversion but went on to nail ten of the remaining 11 kicks.

Diss restarted and their scrum-half made inroads through the Black defence and offloaded to lock and captain John Bergin for their first try.

This put Diss ahead for the only time in the game and there followed ten minutes of nip and tuck before the referee awarded the hosts a scrum five metres from their posts.

An excellent shove by the Black pack took them back over the try line for scrum-half and debutant Will Tillett to claim a good try.

Barton shot down the left wing, fed supporting flanker Danny Whiteman who scored the next try.

Before long fly-half Brett Cutbush finished off an excellent backs move when the ball was shipped first right then left for him to jink through a gap, to claim the fourth bonus-point score.

Whilst trying to stem the tide one of Diss's flankers played the ball on the floor and was yellow carded.

The Blacks pressed forward yet again and centre Sol Hyde burst through to score just before half-time.

Most of the second half followed a similar pattern as Colchester ran rings around the home defence, scoring a further five tries without reply.

Barton got his second then Crozier added one before Whiteman too got his second.

Then both Barton and Whiteman claimed their hat-tricks showing a turn of speed to outpace their opponents.

The visitors were now 66-7 ahead with quarter of an hour remaining.

Diss kept going and their talisman fullback Chris Beaird crashed through the defence to score and convert their second try.

But with the clock running down Colchester came back and good work at a turned-over lineout got the ball to prop James Mitchell, who steamed over for a good forward's try.

Hooker Dan Brennan then raced over to complete Colchester's scoring before Diss added a consolation try through Beaird, before the final whistle.

Tillet saw off other contenders to earn Colchester's man-of-the-match award, following an assured first-time appearance.