The pitch survived a midday inspection after the over night rain and made for testing conditions for this encounter as Taunton welcomed Midsomer Norton to the Towergate Stadium. The game started at a good pace and Taunton were keen to make the running and it was the home side who struck first. The Titans squad were continuing their social from Friday night and talked winger James Devlin into calling for a cross-field kick. Tom Sargent duly obliged and as the ball bounced into the in-goal area it bounced kindly upwards six feet in the air, Dev rose like a salmon to take the ball high above his head and dotted down for a well worked try. The conversion was wide but good early inroads from the Wanderers. Tom Sargent then found his kicking boots and slotted a penalty to extend the lead 8-0.
Clearly the rugby world cup has been having an effect however the Australian tactic of running from everywhere backfired as an off-load in the Taunton 22 was snapped up by Midsomer Norton who claimed a well taken intercepted try, the subsequent conversion brought the score back to 8-7. Taunton were not put off by the difficult wet conditions and continued to move the ball wide through the hands, centre Kyle ‘Cage’ Giblett claimed the second try of the day for the home side to make the score 13-7 at the break.
Some honest conversations were had at the interval and the second half started with a passion from Taunton. Jake Foster and Jack Tolman had come off the bench at the interval and both had an immediate impact. Some hard carries by the pack were making gaps out wide and it was excellent hands from Jake, Josh Durran and Tom Sargent that put Cage through for his second tryof the game having moved out to the wing. Tom Sargent had found his kicking boots and slotted the conversion to give some breathing space at 20-7.
It was Sarge who claimed the bonus point try, slicing through an impossible gap in the away defence like a flat fish to go over under the posts untouched for a try which he duly converted. The running rugby that had been the trademark of the past two seasons for the Wanderers was now evident and, despite the wet conditions, were off-loading the ball well to the support runners. A fine break by Mark ‘Evs’ Evans led to the next score. Fine support running and off-loading, narrated all the way by Dev from the wing, saw Matt Capstick providing excellent back-row support to finish from close to the line, the conversion making it 32-7.
Not to be out-done by Cage, it was Dev who claimed his second off the day. Fresh from his commentary duties on the wing he was on hand to finish another fine move and Sarge slotted the conversion. But Dev still wasn’t finished for the day and claimed his hat-trick try to wrap up the scoring for the day, Sarge taking the score to 48-7 with the conversion.
The score didn’t reflect the competitive nature of this game, and it was Midsomer Norton who finished the stronger. The scrum proving to be an excellent weapon for the away side. But the Wanderers can be pleased with a great days rugby and re-finding their mojo after a difficult start to the season.