Taunton Titans continued their Jekyll & Hyde season and put in and under par performance from the previous couple of weeks and paid the price of a horrendous first half where they trailed 25 – 0 at the half time mark.
In the first half poor discipline and some timid defence allowed Barnes easy momentum and get their off loading game going to keep the Taunton pinned in their own half. After 5 minutes Barnes scored their first converted try but had to wait a further 20 minutes before scoring again when they made up for lost time kicking a penaltyand then scoring from the kick off as Taunton allowed the home side to make easy yards up the touch line for their full back Tom O’Toole go over to make ita 15 – 0 lead.
The referee then got fed up ofthe Taunton ill-discipline and reduced them to 14 men with Max Norey the unfortunate recipient and fly half Josh Hammett kicked the resulting penalty and then converted his own try on the stroke of half time as he went through some non-existent Taunton defence to make it a 25 – 0 half time score. The Taunton changing room would have had a few home truths spoken about during the break and they came out a different team and went on the attack straight away which resulted in pressure on the Barnes line and Chris Francis going over for their opening points. The game then when in for a bit of tit for tat and Barnes then went in for a converted try before Noah Sixton went in for the visitors.
Taunton then scored a try thanks to Jarrard Hayler who was helped over the line by the Titans forwards, before Hind went over for his second and Barnes’ bonus point try. Another poor set of defence allowed Barnes to score their 5th try with a simple missed tackle allowing Jamie Collins to run one in from outside the 22 without a hand laid on him before Hayler then scored his second and with Gary Kingdom’s conversion made the score 39 – 24 with 10 minutes to go.
Barnes then extended their lead once again and put the game to bed with winger Robbie Martey once again exploiting weak defence. Taunton then scored another getting their bonus point try as Dan Lee powered his way over and from the kick off the Titans secured the ball and created space for Sixton to race away and score. Kingdom converted both with a drop goal to save time however, as was typical of their day the Titans played out from defence looking for a losing bonus point but threw an intercept for Barnes to score through O’Toole and take the maximum points and show Taunton how to play the game with commitment, intent, hard work and as a team.
With a weeks break from league action next Saturday the Titans will need to regroup ahead of the last couple games in November that could potentially define their season. There will need to be some sort of investigation into why one week they can keep a clean sheet and the following concede 50 points or travel away and play with some tenacity in attack and defence and the controlled manor you need to win away from home and the next be meek and submissive. With league leaders Rams coming to the Commsplus Stadium on November 17th and the Titans then heading to Tonbridge Juddians, where they lost last season, those answers will need to be found as the results of those two games could go a long way to determining what the Titans ambitions will be come the half way mark of the season a few weeks later.