Taunton Titans welcome Birmingham & Solihull to the Commsplus Stadium for the first time in a National 2 South league game. The Bees as they are better know where the team selected for the level transfer from National 2 North to equal the leagues up.
So far this season the Bees have struggled in the league and have won 5 out of the 17 fixtures but have run many teams close throughout the season having lost 7 times by 10 points or less, one of these against the Titans, proving that they are a team that can stay in a game and cause teams trouble. At present they sit 2nd from bottom but if they had converted all 7 of those close games to at least a losing bonus point rather than the 3 they have claimed they could be putting some real pressure on those above them as they would only be a couple of wins off safety.
With a big pack the Bees will be hoping to leave Taunton with some points and if the Titans don’t improve their second half performances then they could be in for a tough afternoon. After letting two large half time leads slip in the last two games and only claiming the wins at the death of each game Taunton will be hoping they don’t have to rely on two late Gary Kingdom penalties and an Aron Struminski try 3 minutes from time to make the difference as they did in the fixture between these two teams at the end of September.
The Titans only have 4 players in the starting pack that started the previous fixture, Chris Francis (who sneaked over for a try last time out in Birmingham), Sonny Haines, Ratu Vakalutukali and Jarrard Hayler. In the backs there are 5 with Jacob Nash and Lewis Webb continuing their half back partnership, Freddie Fraser along with the two wingers Aron Struminski and Ollie Rice. All 5 of the bench in September are involved with Alex Spurdle and Gary Kingdom finding themselves on the bench once again,however since that fixture Isaac Dalton, Cory Teague and Ben Oliphant-Thompson have found themselves promoted to a starting place.
The Titans Team against Birmingham & Solihull
1 Sonny Haines
2 Chris Francis
3 Isaac Dalton
4 Cory Teague
5 Charlie Williams
6 Ratu Vakalutukali
7 Jarrard Hayler
8 Ben Oliphant-Thompson
9 Jacob Nash
10 LewisWebb (Captain)