The opening weekend of National League One fixtures demonstrated to Taunton Titans that no opposition is to be taken lightly this year. All three promoted teams began with a narrow win, Leicester Lions edging past much fancied Sale by 23-19 and Sedgley Park setting down a marker with a single point 32-31 victory over Richmond who are fresh from the Championship. Titans, despite a late rally, couldn’t recover from their profligacy just before half-time when they seemed to have headed for the sheds mentally five minutes before the referee’s whistle blew at home against Blackheath (33-36).
Elsewhere, Rams were the biggest winners and the highest points scorers – the runners up from last term seeing off Birmingham Moseley50-36. Defence coaches throughout the division must be in despair with Rosslyn Park and Plymouth Albion also racking up high scores, Albion succumbing in London by just three points (39-36) and Cinderford pinching a 28-30 win away at Bishop’s Stortford. The lowest score of the day came in Chinnor’s 22-10 victory over Darlington Mowden Park who are the only team in the competition to remain on 0 points on the table.
As with last season, there is a round 2 West Country Derby for Titans, this time away at Plymouth Albion. Though familiar with one another over the years from friendly matches, league encounters between Plymouth and Taunton are thin on the ground. Titans’ previous visits to The Brickfields in National League One have shown it not to be a happy hunting ground and the Somerset team will be keen to register a first win of the season as well as a first league victory against their Devon rivals.
Both Plymouth RFC and Devonport Albion RFC were formed in 1876, the year following Taunton RFC. Plymouth Albion came about when the Ocean City’s two sides merged in 1920. Legendary Fijian full-back Nat Saumi is a member of Albion’s 100 cap club whilst former England hooker Graham Dawe, though more famously associated with Bath, both played for and coached the team.
Now coached by former England Saxons fly half Ryan Lamb, Albion has had to say farewell to long-serving flanker George Mills who has retired over the summer. They have, however, welcomed back to their ranks Sam Daly who returns to their back row after a few years playing in Scotland and for Doncaster.
Entrance to The Brickfields from 12.00 noon starts from £12.00 per adult for ground entry whilst there is an extra charge for seats in a stand. Under 16s enjoy free entry. Plymouth Albion’s ground is cashless. There is plenty of parking at Brickfields at £3 per car. Kick-off is at 3.00pm. Those making their way south of the border should note that Exeter Chiefs are hosting Bristol Bears at Sandy Park so congestion around Junction 30 of the M5 is to be anticipated.
If you don't fancy the trip to Plymouth Albion there is still plenty of rugby for you to enjoy at Veritas Park.
On Friday night we have a School game where local school and long term TRFC Supporters Taunton School will play Blundells School at 18:30. This is followed by the Rugby World Cup opening game France Vs New Zealand in the clubhouse.
On Saturday you get your first look at the Taunton Warriors this season as they face Minehead at Veritas Park 15:00 Kick Off. Plenty of rugby world cup games to enjoy on the big screens in the TRFC club house:
12:00 Italy V Namibia
14:30 Ireland V Romania
17:00 Australia V Georgia
20:00 England V Argentina
Everyone is welcome, Let's make Taunton RFC the place to watch the 2023 rugby world cup!!!