After a very hard fought game Tony Yapp, Taunton’s Head Coach stated “we were delighted with the win. Henley are a very good side who started the season really well and over the last two seasons have proved to be bit of a bogey team for us. I thought our energy in attack and defence was excellent and despite going behind with 15 minutes to go I was really pleased with our control and willingness to keep playing and to regain the lead and see the game out" It was this willingness to keep going and tenacity that won Taunton the game and at the very end it looked as though Taunton may steal another try and get the bonus point. It was also pleasing to silence those in the crowd who when Henley scored their third try stated “oh here we go again throwing it away”. The team did not and as the sixteenth man the crowd I hope will now be more positive and give credit to the players.
The game started at a very vigorous pace and after some good lead up work Taunton were awarded a penalty which Kingdom put into the corner a superb line out take by Teague saw a drive to the line by the forwards who were joined by the weight of some of the three quarters for a push over try attributed to prop Isaac Dalton. A similar penalty 2 minutes later for a high tackle saw Gary Kingdom put the ball into an almost similar position however on this occasion an overthrow by the Taunton Hooker allowed Henley to make a steal and take the ball 50 meters towards the Taunton line before a last ditch tackle saved a certain Henley try.
Successive scrums saw Taunton gradually clear their line to put some equilibrium into their game. Henley then gained the ascendency before knocking on to give the ball back to Taunton who was rewarded with a penalty which Kingdom converted. From the kick off Taunton then pressured the Henley defence and after a break through the middle by Freddie Fraser and some interplay by the forwards Teague eventually went over in the corner Gary Kingdom missed the conversion but Taunton were nowleading 15 points to nil.
From the kickoff Taunton gained possession and were soon within the Henley 22, However an infringement by Taunton allowed Henley back into the Taunton half Henley lost the ball from the resultant lineout which was kicked to touch by Gary Kingdom into the Henley 22. Henley won the lineout and were soon back on the Taunton line, the play then went back and forwards before a penalty to Henley who put the ball back into the Taunton 22.A rolling maul then saw Henley score. The conversion was missed but it was obvious that Henley had upped their game and 8 minutes later in a similar position they won the line out but the maul was being contained by the Taunton forwards. This effort left them exposed for the Henley number 6 to break of the back of the maul and score unopposed close to the Taunton posts taking the score to Taunton 15 Henley 12.
From the kick off Henley eventually asserted their strength over a very predictable Taunton attack won the ball and scored in the corner. The conversion was missed but Henley had that all important 2 point lead. Taunton were not going to lie down, from the kick off a catch and drive headed towards the Henley posts and after several forward drives saw the “man of the match” Isaac Dalton, just three minutes after the Henley try, burrow over for his second try of the game under the Henley posts which Kingdom converted. It looked like Henley took the initiative and with a great deal of purpose created a break to produce a 3 on 1 overlap and a certain try but from a poor pass they knocked the ball on. The resultant scrum was collapsed by Henley and a resultant penalty saw a Taunton kick to touch win the line out and drive to the Henley line. Several drives eventually saw Henley give away a penalty under the posts, this was on 79 minutes and resulted in one of the Henley players receiving a yellow card. Gary Kingdom converted the penalty giving Taunton an eight point lead. From the Kick off Henley tried to run the ball to get back into a win but a knock on by them saw the referee James Miliner bring the game to an end leaving the final score Taunton 25 Henley 17.