After spluttering along for three or four weeks having to accommodate changes forced upon him by enforced changes brought about by a cropof injuries, particularly In the backs, the Titans’ Head Coach Tony Yapp took a bull by the horns last Saturday in the away game at Old Redcliffians and completely re-jigged his side to enthralling good effect (writes Dick Macey).
The Old Reds, whilst not enjoying the most successful of seasons, are always difficult opponents, particularly on their own sloping pitch which had taken a pounding from the recent rains. On this occasion the pitch, whilst gluey and very heavy in parts, benefited from some assiduous forking attention and some late morning sun and wind, and the Titans were given the down slope in the first half and they put it to the very best use. Within 25 minutes they were 21-0 up and flying, scoring their fourth try and taking the bonus point to go 26-0 to the good by half time. Their tries had been scored by Ben Oliphant-Thompson, Toby East, “Toots” Vatalutukali and Jack Arnott with Gary Kingdom showing his kicking qualities with three conversions.
The second session brought Old Reds more into the game with the slope in their favour, their knowledge of how to play it through some astute kicking and a raising of the intensity of their game they put the Titans to the test but the Taunton boys’ defence proved solid and reliable. The home side’s increased effort only yielded one unconverted try whilst the Titans found a way through for Toby East to score his second, converted by Kingdom, and to take the game way beyond Old Reds’ grasp.
This was a thoroughly deserved victory for the Titans with totally committed team effort sustained throughout and the satisfaction to be heard and seen in the team huddle at the final whistle gave evidence of the coach’s urgings being heeded and a game plan adhered to. The re-jigged three-quarter line had the admiring support purring and trusting to luck that the mood continued into next week’s encounter with the old enemy, Redruth, when the Titans travel down to Hell Fire Corner.
This game brought the curtain down on the half way mark for the season and shows the Titans now in a dog fight with two other sides,Tonbridge/Juddians and Henley Hawks, with two points straddling the top three sides and a gap opening up to ten points ahead of the chasing pack. If the Titans can notch up the points against Redruth then January is going to prove pivotal to the Taunton boys’ promotion ambitions as they take on those other two topsides. Much to be anticipated and enjoyed. This correspondent takes the greatest pleasure in extending to the Taunton faithful the warmest of greetings for the festive season.