For any Taunton-based sports lover there cannot be anything finer than the prospect of a seriously competitive National League One game of rugby to be played on a perfect afternoon, weather-wise, at the Veritas Park in Bathpool and so it proved last Saturday when the Titans entertained old foes, Chinnor, writes Dick Macey. The Taunton boys ran out worthy winners of a well-fought contest 43-29 and were rightly judged by all to have thoroughly deserved the spoils, having played a fast-moving game of attacking rugby which had continued at the tempo they had displayed the previous week when losing to league leaders Caldy up in The Wirral.
The opening salvoes of Taunton's game were masked by an early display of the wobbles as a number of handling and tackling errors let in the visitors
for an early penalty goal to be followed by an unconverted try and it wasn't until the 15th minute before they settled their game down and put Toots over for a try under the posts which full back, Frankie Dart converted. Chinnor responded by displaying their credentials through a converted try and then as half time approached the Titans began their squeeze on the game scoring a try through home debut, man of the match winger,Sam Mercer, converted by Dart, and immediately added to the score line through Toots and again converted by Dart. Just to add lustre to what was now their confident grip on the game, the Titans new boy, Sam Mercer broke through for his second try, this time converted by Connor Banks , and the home side went in for the break 26=15 up and the bonus point in the bag for their four tries.
The Taunton boys ran out for the second session with their tails well and truly up and began as they had ended the first half with some mesmerising play running right through the team, seeming to relish in their new-found determination to take a solid grip on the game. Lewis Webb,playing at out half and displaying all the guile his talented skills have developed over the years, was enjoying his game and was sending the backs flying and the Titans went further ahead when Toots ran in his third try,converted by old stager, Donkey Kingdom, who had come off the bench for the injured Frankie Dart. He brought with him a spark which galvanised the home side into yet more determination and in addition to the conversion he quickly added a penalty goal to put Taunton firmly in control at 36-22, Chinnor having added a converted try to their own score, much against the run of play,
Although they came back to within 7 points with a try-scoring bonus point to bring the score 36-29 they were feeding off scraps and the final nail in their coffin came when the Titans rounded off their game with a try by the increasingly impressive Halam Chapman, again converted by Donkey, and by then they had left Chinnor gasping in their wake.
This was a super victory for the Taunton boys and is clear evidence of the steel they have learned to bring to their game having been on asharp learning curve since their arrival in this higher level of English rugby back in September, following their promotion from National League 2 South.
Next week they are off to face high-flying Cambridge to further test this steely resolve before returning to Veritas Park on Easter Saturday for what should be stormer against old friends Tonbridge/Juddians.