After four matches only one team in National League One retains a perfect record. Rams claimed a fourth consecutive bonus point victory by holding off visiting Rosslyn Park 31-20 on Saturday. As luck would have it, Rams are the visitors this weekend to Veritas Park where Taunton Titans have a very different story to tell. The Titans once again conceded early points, this time at Birmingham Moseley and had to fight back to earn a bonus point for the fourth try. Nonetheless, the 35-22 reversal leaves the county town club winless with only Sale FC below them on the table (following their 15-12 defeat at Cinderford).
Elsewhere Richmond reached a half-century in a high-scoring duel with Bishop’s Stortford but the men from the Athletic Ground prevailed by50-40. There were plenty of points too at the Brickfields where Plymouth Albion continued their good form, beating Leicester Lions 45-21. They sit level on 16points with Blackheath who defeated Darlington Mowden Park 41-13 whilst the top four is rounded out by Sedgley Park, 27-21 victors over Chinnor.
From Sonning, close to Reading, Rams were promoted into National League One for the first ever time just a year before Taunton’s own elevation to that level. The club was formed in 1924 by former pupils of Reading School and was initially called Old Redingenians RFC. In time the playing numbers no longer reflected the school’s alumni and the name changed simply to Redingensians. The nickname Rams, derived from the animal featuring on the coat of arms of Reading, became the formal name of the club in 2018 and, with London Irish no longer around, Rams is proudly the leading rugby club in town.
When the teams last met in Berkshire this March Titans scored 21 points but Rams were out of sight with 59 points of their own. Things were a lot closer when Rams visited Veritas Park last November. On that occasion the Titans were seeking a first home win of the season and Rams were table-toppers but the final score of 24-27 highlighted how difficult Tony Yapp’s side was able to make it for their guests.
Director of Rugby Seb Reynolds has assembled quite a unit at the Old Bath Road club. Fly-half Drew Humberstone and his brother Tom have both played for Oxford University in the Varsity Match. Rams captain Robbie Stapley is on red-hot form at Number 8. Former London Scottish wing Zach Clow and hooker Max Hayman both scored two tries last time out.
This Saturday the Taunton Warriors, fresh from a spectacular 94-5 win over Hornets are on the road at Weston-super-Mare.
Kick-off for Titans vs Rams at Veritas Park is at 3pm. Entry is £15 for adults and free for Under-16s. Parking at Veritas Park on Hyde Lane costs £5. Don’t forget to book in for the scrumptious two-course pre-match carvery, the envy of the National League and still an utter bargain at just £20 per head. To book please contact the club office on 01823 336363. There will also be delicious hot pasties and coffees from the Proper Cornish pasty van and there will be three bars open.
Taunton resident and rugby lover, Richard Kitzinger writes content for Taunton RFC’s club website and match-day programmes. His day job is writing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney - he can be found at www.westcountrywills.co.ukor reached on 07504 991893