This fixture certainly lived up to its billing with both teams going at each other from start to finish with the sharp backs of the Titans against the power of the Rams forwards but it was the home sides discipline that probably cost them the game with 2 yellow cards and 1 red.
The game was end to end, with high tempo, high energy rugby being played from both sides with Rams Director of Rugby Gary Reynolds saying after the game “for the neutral this was a great game to watch for the partisan it was heart in the mouth all the way to the end of game and was a great advert for National 2 South and probably for the league above as well.”
It was the Rams that started the brightest taking the game to the Titans applying the pressure and were rewarded a penalty try as a maul was gathering speed towards the line. Taunton were reduced to 14 but suddenly kicked into life and scored 2 tries while a man down,both of which were scored by the Titans wingers, first Oscar Kolowski, followed by Ollie Rice as the Taunton backs started to create space for themselves,something that didn’t go unnoticed by Reynolds “I thought the Titans backs today were fantastic and their movement on the ball was excellent, we were fortunate that our forwards managed to get on top in the second half and we held on in the end even with some silly penalties.”
Taunton extended their lead when they went back to the full compliment with Nick Mason going over, before Rice scored his second. With Gary Kingdom converting 2 of the tries the score was 24– 7 with less than 10 minutes of the half. The visiting forwards then flexed their collective muscles once again and were rewarded with a try for hooker Ben Henderson and with Alex Seers conversion it made the half time score 24 – 14.
The Rams came out in the second half and really took the Titans pack on and got their rewards straight away. Taunton’s discipline went and were reduced to 14 once again, this time permanently, when Barrie-John Chapman was shown a red card for foul play. Rams now smelt blood and with the home pack one down went for it and number 8 Jamie Guttridge was the beneficiary of a scrum motoring towards the line. The Titans were reduced to 13 as one of the props was shown a Yellow.
Kingdom kicked a penalty to make the score 27 – 21 before Rams claimed their 2nd penalty try and when replacement prop Sean Mcdonnel-Roberts powered over and the resulting conversion by Seers it made the score 27 – 35 with less than 10 minutes to go.Kingdom kicked a penalty and the Titans kept on playing right to the end and had the Rams on the rack but they managed to hold on to claim their first ever win at Taunton and more importantly the 5 points.
A disappointed Tony Yapp, Taunton’s head coach, said “It’s obvious to say but I think the red card played a major part today, to play against anyone in this league with 14 men is hard enough but to do it against the Rams who are well organised and well drilled it was always going to be hard. Their forwards were the difference today but we couldn’t fault our effort.”