The curtain finally came up, in rugby terms, at Veritas Park last Saturday afternoon when in the first competitive game of rugby at home since March 2020, The Taunton Titans entertained their highly regarded and respected opponents, Rosslyn Park.
The game pitched the current No1 side in the league against the No2 side, The Titans, so all was set fair for a scrap to claim the early league bragging rights. With a bright afternoon, weather-wise, a large expectant home crowd looked forward to some quality rugby and we were not disappointed but the only problem for the Taunton boys was the fact that it was their visitors who provided the majority of that excitement, at least in the first half.
At Kick-off Park displayed such a hunger for the ball and pace and intensity around the pitch the Titans were rocked back on their heels and chasing shadows resulting in park taking a 21-0 lead within 15 minutes and seemingly looking for a hatful. Taunton lost 'Toots' for 10 minutes for a puzzling yellow card for what the referee described as a 'no-arms' tackle and they conceded a further goal in that time and another on the stroke of half time to go in 28-0 down.
The second session was an altogether different affair with the Titans claiming 14 points, with tries by Charlie Wright and Isaac Dalton, both converted by Jack Walsh, to park's 12 points leaving the visitors 14-40 victors. Such a game offered a swift learning curve for the home side but once they adjusted their own game, they offered considerable resistance as evidenced by the penalty count 8-2 as park sought to contain the fast-learning Titans but the damage had been done in that first session.
The Taunton Titans will rue their inability to claim their own ball at line-out and also their own naivety in their defence in the first half. Park's swift-running caught the home side unawares but it was never going to be easy against a side who have declared themselves anxious to claim a place in the championship and will will undoubtedly be major contenders for league honours based on this display.
This Saturday the Titans travel to Bishops Stortford before returning to Veritas Park on 2nd October when another high flying side, The Rams will be the visitors. We are hugely lucky to be enjoying National One rugby here at Taunton RFC and as always we encourage you to come and support your local side competing at a National Level.