National Two South

Canterbury 12, Taunton Titans 21

TAUNTON Titans came from behind against the elements to claim a hard-fought win at a wet and windy Canterbury, writes Keith Brooking

In the first half Taunton had the slope and the wind in their favour and seemed to have their tactics right when, after a high kick from Gary Kingdom, the home side knocked it back and flanker Dan Frost pounced on the loose ball to run the try in from just outside the 22.

Kingdom converted to give Taunton a seven-point lead after just 10 minutes. 

From then on the tactics looked like they went out the window, as Taunton tried to play too much rugby rather than using the wind and slope.

The game was played between the two 22 meter lines with Canterbury easily defending the Titans attack and waiting for the mistake, which came too often from the Titans. 

With the score at only 7-0 at half time it looked like Canterbury had done their job in containing Taunton and would now show the visitors how to play the slope, and soon after the restart the hosts tied the game with a try for full-back Aiden Moss converted by Oli Best. 

Taunton started to gain some territory with some strong carries by the backs and forwards but it was Canterbury that broke the deadlock with a try for Best, but he failed to convert from out wide.

The visitors then started to keep the ball tight, with the forwards taking control and driving into the home pack time and time again. 

After making their way up the pitch, Frost broke free once more and scored under the posts which allowed Kingdom to convert and give the Titans a two-point lead. 

From the kick-off Taunton kept the ball once again and, as the home side started to fade after several forward drives, Lewis Webb used the more powerful runners outside him as a decoy to create the gap for him to go through unopposed. 

Kingdom added the extras once more and, with only a minute on the clock and the game safe, the Titans played their way out from deep in their own 22 right up to the tryline.

However, after playing for an extra two minutes in search of the bonus-point try, Taunton were thwarted just short and the final whistle blew.

Taunton Titans; Kingdom, Rice, Mason (Capt) (Francis 65), Fraser, Claydon (Carter 44), East, Webb, Baker (Kenny 61), Davis (Oliphant-Thompson 74), Dalton, Persey, England (Harvey 54 – 79), Fleming, Frost, Oliphant-Thompson (Prior 54)

Attendance: 132