Taunton Titans
February 10, 2024
Sedgley Park
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Titans v Sedgley Park


Titans v Sedgley Park

“Man of the Match” Dan Martin provided the link between a very dominant pack and an inspired back line.  Last minute enforced changes to the team through illness gave the coaches a selection headache, but they rose to that challenge and created a team which gave us the spectators, a joyful experience.  Sedgley Park gave away 4 penalties in the first five minutes, Dan went for goal with the first which fell just short, the lineout from the second was lost although the next was won, although without any real dominance, so the fourth was a tap and drive at the line for Isaac Dalton to finish that forward drive with a try.  Dan kicked for goal, but the wind just caught the ball and it hit the post, leaving the Titans with a five-point lead after only 7-minutes of play. The Titans continued their dominance and Sedgley Park gave away another penalty which Dan converted to extend their lead.  For the eagle eyed amongst you, you would have noticed how Dan changed the angle of the ball on the tee so that the ball did not go as high and this time he beat the wind.  Sedgley Park were having more possession and managing to get into the Titans half and from what seemed to be a knock on hit the boot before the ground, was hacked on again with the Sedgley Park wing managing to gather and scoring the try in the corner.  This was converted and the Titans now just had a one-point lead.  Dan Martin, playing at number 10 was creating an air of unpredictability which was causing hesitation in the opposition defence and opportunities which the Titans centres were trying to exploit.  A half break by Jeremy Tuima and the ball then reaching Toby Clinch saw him speeding up the wing and the result being the supporting players finished off to give Ollie Burrows the try.  Just 5-minuteslater and “Toots” was in for his 50th try for the Titans which Dan converted to give the Titans 20-points.  The Titans were tackling ferociously and Sedgley were not retaining their own ball, so from a mistimed pass which went loose, Deago Bailey picked up from just inside the Sedgley half to race away unopposed to score the fourth and bonus point try under the posts.  Dan converted with just two minutes of the half left.  On the stroke of halftime Sedgley gave away their eighth penalty of the half which Dan stepped up to convert giving the Titans a 30-point to 7 halftime lead.

The second half started with Sedgley Park gaining more possession and the Titans having to show just how much they have progressed in their defensive shape.  Sedgley Park must have dreaded the scrums where they were regularly pushed back even on their own ball.  The front row gave away nothing in the scrums and their tackling around the base of the scrum was immense.  Many times, after tackling second row Charlie Rice won the turnover and he and Sam Leworthy made some significant carries.  The fifth try came from forward carries with Dan Martin to finish with a try.  The Titans did not let up and kept their concentration to be rewarded on 6o-minuteswhen Charlie Wright went in for the try.  Dan converted but shortly after he was forced to leave the pitch with a pulled calf muscle.  Connor Banks who had had an outstanding game at scrum half moved to number 10 and Ollie Masey-Birch came in to fill the scrumhalf position.  This was a seamless interchange and Connor showed his talents in both positions.  Just 7 minutes left on the clock and Charlie Wright went in for his second try of the game and the Titans seventh.  Oscar Stewart was called up for the conversion and from wide out he succeeded taking the Titans points tally to 49.  Sedgley Park had the last word in the game when on the stroke of fulltime the Titans were deemed to have collapsed the maul and Sedgley Park were awarded a penalty try.

This was an outstanding performance by the Titans and the160+ of former players who came to see this game must have been well satisfied that their legacy still lives on.  These players gave us tremendous optimism and showed their true ability and motivation, and we all applaud them.  For those who are not able to go to the Rosslyn Park game next week, a short trip up to Chew Magna will see the Warriors take on Chew Valley in a “crunch” match which may help decide their promotion in the league. Kick off 2.30pm.

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