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RUGBY: Titans visit struggling Exmouth
5:00pm Friday 21st February 2014 in Sport
TAUNTON Titans head South down the M5 for a change tomorrow when they make the short trip to Exmouth for a re-arranged fixture (2pm).
Last weekend the players were given time off after all games in National League 2 (South) were called off due to the weather.
While the break gave those with niggling injuries a chance to recover, two players who will miss this weekend and the rest of the season are centre Luke Plummer and second row George Fleming.
Both have sustained hand injuries over the last few weeks with both needing an operation on their injuries.
Their absences are a big blow to the Titans squad who have been going well over recent weeks – but there are some good players waiting in the wings ready to step in and fill the large boots left.
Taunton are on their travels again on March 1 when they visit Clifton. And with two consecutive trips Taunton have the perfect opportunity to put paid to their poor away form.
Titans have only one two away games out of 11 and if they want to push on up the league this season and have aspirations for next season then they will have to discover how to win away.
Newly-promoted Exmouth have found their first season at a higher level tough. They have a young squad and are currently bottom of the league.
Taunton know how playing in this league with a young squad feels and struggled last season.
However with more or less the same group of players Taunton have benefitted from their experience.
And they will have to be mentally prepared to play against a team that has nothing to lose and a point to prove after being handed at 63 point defeat by Taunton earlier in the season.
Exmouth on a heavy pitch with revenge in mind will be a more difficult game than it looks on paper – especially when you add personal rivalry between Titans’ forward coach Chris Brown and Exmouth’s head coach Jon Hill who both work at Exeter College and coach the college first team together.
The duo also coached a successful Launceston team to the Championship.
Added spice will be provided by the presence in Exmouth ranks of former Taunton second row Chris Bentley who joined who the south coast after leaving Taunton half-way through last season.
Titans coach Keith Brooking, left, said: “For us to come away from Exmouth with a victory we will have to be mentally tough and put pressure on Exmouth in defence and attack and replicate the intensity of the game last September.
“Perhaps then we can start to improve our away form.”