The quirk of the fixture list meant that the opponents for the final game of the season were the same opponents from the opening fixture and, as in August, the sun was shining, and it was a great day for running rugby.
The Wanderers knew it would be a hard game against a well drilled and competitive Morganians side who are sitting third in the league,and so it proved as it was the visitors who claimed the well-deserved opening try followed up by a penalty to take an early 10-0 lead.
Taunton then hit back with three quick fire tries, scored by Matt Capstick – making a welcome return from several weeks away with work –Paul Dunge and Leigh Cash, but the most remarkable thing was what was happening just after every score. Robbie Miller was kicking conversions from every angle which was to prove crucial by the end of the game. Morganians came back strong in this see-saw game and scored next – defence was clearly optional in this match as mid-way through the first half the score was already 21-15. Before half time Gavin Farley, Matt Webster and Josh Durran all registered 5-pointers and Robbie Miller duly knocked over all three conversions, one from the touch line (the contents of Robbie’s water bottle have since been sent off to be tested!)
When Gavin Farley picked up his second try of the day after half time (and Robbie “Dan Carter” Miller had continued his astonishing form with the conversion) Taunton looked comfortable at 49-15 but Morganians then proved why they have had such a good season. Four quick fire tries and two conversions brought the score to 49-39 and with injuries disrupting the Taunton structure a close finish was in order.
Lloyd Cotton went some way to calming the nerves with a try but it was clear the pressure was getting to everyone as even Robbie finally missed a kick! There was no choice…defence needed to be shored up, and so coaches Scott Goodsir and Rob Chilcott entered the fray. The objective was successful as for the glorious last 4 minutes they were on Taunton didn’t concede a point and a final Robbie Miller penalty made the final score 57-39.
The end to a fantastic season both on and off the field.Every player, supporter, sponsor and coach can be very proud of what has been achieved. Out of a possible 100 points on offer in the league Taunton finished on 93, scoring an average of 32 points per game and conceding on average 14.Probably the most remarkable stat has been the 61 players who have turned out to represent the Wanderers this season. Top efforts all round and now off for a few weeks of well deserved rest!