AFTER a disappointing display in the defeat to Worthing last weekend, Taunton Titans will be looking to bounce back but face another tough test when they host Barnstaple on Saturday (ko 2pm), writes Keith Brooking.

Like Worthing last time out, this weekend’s visitors are a team who are fighting for every point they can get at the bottom of the table and will make life difficult for the Titans.

Taunton will need to be at their best and play like they did in the last 10 minutes of the Worthing game and not the first 70.

Bishop’s Stortford were the first team to do the double over Taunton this season and Barnstaple are the only other team left to play this season that can do the same after emerging victorious in November’s reverse fixture.

In that match, Barnstaple ended up deserved 22-19 winners after a match which saw both teams score three tries, with the difference being a penalty kicked by the man of the match, scrum half Jordan Petherbridge.

The Titans had a chance to tie the game near the end but opted to kick to the corner to try and steal the win, only to pass up the chance.

The Titans try scorers that day were Aron Struminski, Richard Bright and Dan Frost, all of whom are unavailable this weekend due to injuries.

The injury list has been mounting over the last few weeks, meaning the Taunton coaches will have a choice of trying some new combinations looking ahead to next season or re-shuffling a few players to ensure that the team that takes the field can gain the revenge that is desired.

One of the players who will not be playing for the rest of the season is Matt Tichias, who hurt his knee a few weeks ago but has played through the discomfort, however after a scan he has been advised not to play for the rest of the season.


Coaches' comments: Tony Yapp (head coach):

SATURDAY was one of the more disappointing days the Titans have had against a team struggling at the bottom of the table.

We prepared well all week with the players buying into how we were going to play - well, at least up until we kicked off.

Once the game was underway there was a real lack of accuracy in pretty much everything we did from scrum through to breakdown, through to just passing the ball down the line.

Add to that a lack of physicality in defence and the early signs were that it was going to be a long afternoon.

For 60 minutes we were poor and by the time we decided that we needed to play to get back into it, it was too late.

Trying to bridge a 20 point gap with 20 minutes to go is a big ask although one we nearly achieved.

Overall, we pretty much got what we deserved a poor loss against a team struggling for points.

When I look at the league the biggest difference with us and the teams pushing for promotion is the silly games we lose to teams in the bottom half of the table.

Just as we get going we tend slip up against a team we would be expected to win against, something the top teams don’t tend to do.

With that in mind, the big work on for us now as coaches through to the end of the season and during the off season is how can we create a more consistent performance over 30 league games regardless of who we are playing .

This will allow us to compete for longer at the top end of the table.

Chris Brown (forwards coach):

WE gave Worthing too much of a lead with sloppy play in the first half.

We gifted them points and allowed them to convert possession with a lack of accuracy.

When you do that to a team in our league, you pay the price.

The second half was better, as we scored some good tries and got ourselves back into the game, but it was too little too late.

We need to focus on our game and work hard.

The performance at Worthing was not indicative of our standards and we need to raise it significantly - we work too hard as a group to perform like that.