I AM almost ashamed to admit that, while watching an intense game of rugby, I am forever in danger of falling into the trap of becoming hyper-critical of the mistakes and difficulties the players attempt to overcome, writes Dick Macey.

That includes playing in the most dire conditions, with a ball that is like a piece of soap and a pitch that begins to resemble a swamp.

After two or three days of warm drying sunshine and a comforting breeze, the Commsplus Stadium pitch was looking a treat – a little sticky underfoot as you might expect at this time of the year, but offering perfect playing conditions.

So how disappointing it was for the rains to return just in time for kick-off last Saturday and quickly turn the ground into a quagmire.

The fact both teams then committed themselves to trying to play open and running rugby was laudable, but challenging in the extreme.

The Titans ran out eventual victors 24-10, but that scoreline masks the endeavour of their visitors, Bury St Edmunds, who for long spells deprived the Titans of the opportunity to get their hands on the ball.

The hosts were far too ready to kick the ball away to look for advantage, but BSE showed themselves irritatingly capable of cleanly gathering the ball and then sticking it up their jumpers as they looked to trundle towards the home goal line.

Their only stumbling block was the obdurate and resilient Titans defence.

Given other distractions, like Six Nations games and some rough old weather, a good crowd, including some 120 or so former players who had dined and imbibed well prior to kick-off, were treated to a Titans win which wasn’t pretty but was workmanlike and efficient.

Having observed the euphoria in the home dressing room after the game, it was welcomed with a degree of relief at having overcome some doughty opponents.

This coming Saturday, Taunton make one of their longest road trips of the season to Canterbury, always a difficult side to grapple with and who will present quite a challenge.

The following week (February 17), the Titans entertain near-neighbours Clifton with a carvery lunch and Friends event preceding kick-off – an excellent day in prospect!