The Titans head coach gives a review of 2017 and looks ahead to 2018

Article published:
April 1, 2018

Titans 2017 review 

Another year has passed and despite a slight dip in form over the last few weeks it’s been another successful year for not only the Titans but for also the rest of Taunton Rugby Football Club. As a club we are all working really hard on and off the field to push the Titans on to the next level but while pushing the team on we also keep a close eye on the finances so we don’t put too much strain on the club financially which is the reason we are quite down the pecking order in the league and locally when it comes down to financial rewards for the players . What we do try and create is a hard working environment that the players enjoy and one that allows players to grow and improve, but the risk in doing this is we do tend to have a lot of players that end up moving onto the next level. 

The end of the 2016-17 season finished well W4 D1 and L1 of the final 6 games and in the process, we finished up scoring over 100 league points for the third year running and finishing 4th behind Bishops Stortford and OE’s who got promoted and Chinnor who are currently top of the league this season.

During the off season we again lost a few players to a higher level. Ted Landry moved back to the Uni and also spent time at Plymouth Albion who also picked up Sean Londsdale. We also lost Pete Laverick Tom Lawday and Jack Owlet to Cornish Pirates joining the likes of former Titans Dan Lee, Josh Caulfield and Mike Pope. This has meant that during the off season we had to look at picking up players. Financially we struggle to bring in players from the leagues above and we don’t tend to bring in players on loan to much anymore either as we tend to lose these players for large parts of the season due to their other rugby commitments. We now prefer to try and bring in the best local talent. This pre-season was no different as we brought in a number of ambitious young players from the leagues below. They included Rob Allen from Bridgewater, Issac Dalton and Ollie Rice from Exmouth, Conor Baker Conor Littlewood and Chris Francis from Hornets, Kieran Hill from Clevedon, Andrew Hamilton from Tiverton and Aaron Wilman from the Navy and I must say they have all fit in really well. 

As a club we’ve always felt it’s important to try our best to improve and up skill players and give them the chance to move on to the highest level they are capable of playing, this is no more evident than former Titan Sam Skinner playing for Exeter Chiefs against Leinster away recently in the European Cup, this is something the club are very proud of. The start of the 2017/18 season started well winning 9 straight games in a row but despite the good start results of late have been a little disappointing, and we currently find ourselves in 4th spot, it’s hard to put your finger on why, but injuries and a few unavailability’s haven’t helped including that of Gary Kingdom who is such an important player for us, but someone we are going to need to learn to win without eventually. Highlights of the year - I think the bonus point win away at OE’s was a great result that was closely followed by our first win at Redruth on a wet and windy afternoon, in third spot was probably the win a few weeks ago against a very strong Redingensians team who had won 6 games on the bounce. Where there are highs there are usually lows and these for us came away to Barnstaple and away to Geese this season, these are the two most frustrating games where we just didn’t perform well and didn’t feel we did ourselves justice. Looking forward the futures very bright, we have a very talented young Titans side that are desperate to improve and move the club on and again try and crack 100 points this season for the 4th season in a row. 

This season If you judge the Titans on whether they get promoted then there may be a few negatives as Chinnor and Cinderford look likely to fill the top two places this season. If you judge the club on the fact in 2017 the Colts won the Colts national trophy and are again looking very strong this season led by Jules and a very good coaching set up. The second team are currently top of their league the Wanderers (the 3rds) are now putting a team out most weeks and we are consistently getting more than 35 seniors players training every Tuesday & Thursday then maybe we aren’t doing quite so bad.

Of Course the next step for the Titans is to try and break into the top two but it’s not something we’ll put the club under financial pressure to do, if we do get there it will be through hard work and commitment from everyone, there are so many good people working really hard right throughout the club from the mini’s right through to the seniors and lots of work going on behind the scenes to promote rugby and the club. 

Finally I’d just like to thank all our sponsors our loyal supporters and everyone who works so hard to make TRFC a great club, we really can’t thank you enough, without you all we just wouldn’t be able to do what we do. 

We look forward to seeing you all soon, so here’s to a happy enjoyable and successful 2018.

- Yappy 

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Article published by:

James Whitrow

Marketing Executive

I'm James, the Marketing Executive for Commsplus, main sponsor and ground naming partner for Taunton Rugby Club.