Having become used to somewhat timorous game starts in the recent past it is refreshing to now see the Titans bursting out of the blocks from the opening whistle to put their opponents on an immediate back foot. This was most marked in the game last Saturday when the Taunton side welcomed league newcomers, Westcliff, to the Towergate Stadium and had achieved their four-try bonus point within the first 25 minutes (writes Dick Macey).
This power play took the stuffing out of the visitor’sresistance with the result that despite their gutsy, dogged determination to show they were made of stronger stuff Westcliff were left with a mountain to climb and were not ever allowed to fight their way back into the game. The Titans made excellent use of the strong wind at their backs in the first half scoring their tries with a forward drive over the line touched down by Alex Spurdle, two quick scores by winger Oscar Kolowski whose elusive swift running brought two more tries and the early onslaught was rounded off by debutant Jermaine Jones who made an impressive show at centre. All four tries were converted by Gary Kingdom whose astute use of the windwhen making those kicks, particularly from the touch line, showed what a masterhe is of his craft.
The Titans went in at half time 33-5 up with “Toots” Vatalutulaki nabbing another for Taunton and Westcliff managing to claim an unconverted try in response. The increasingly difficult head wind was the problem for the Titans to face throughout the second session and this time they showed how improved they have become by displaying their ability to change strategy to meet the circumstances, clinging on tightly to the ball when in hand and impressive support play ensuring error-free exchanges. Their skills were further rewarded with tries by centre Tom Popham and flanker Julian Salvi stretching the Titans’ lead which was dented only slightly by a well-worked Westcliff unconverted try leaving the final score 43-10. This was a fully deserved Taunton victory but in conclusion the home side were full of admiration for their hard-working opponents.
This coming Friday evening the Titans travel just up the road for the local derby game with Clifton (kick off 7.45pm) who themselves have enjoyed an encouraging run of results and they now stand fifth in the league so the Titans have it all to do if they are to remain in the top three (or is it four?) dog fight for the promotion seeking places. The following week (15th Feb)the Titans will be playing at home against Esher, an attractive fixture which will accompany the Former Players lunch for which over 100 have already registered their intention to attend. Week on week the excitement of this season is building and is the better for the growing support the Titans are experiencing.