National 2 South

Taunton Titans 29, Redruth 12

TAUNTON Titans made it two wins from two at the start of the season with victory over Westcountry rivals Redruth at the Towergate Stadium, writes Dick Macey.

The week previously, the Titans had beaten Bournemouth rather comfortably and Redruth had beaten Esher, the relegated Division 1 side from last season, in a hard-fought game and so the squaring up to each other would not only determine who would claim the West Country bragging rights but also give insight into how competitive these two old rivals might prove to be.

On a stunning blue sky autumnal afternoon at the Towergate Stadium both sides began with purpose but their enthusiasm was curtailed by the number of errors, both kicking and handling, that showed early nervousness.

The Titans opened the scoring through a penalty goal by Gary Kingdom and went on to widen their lead through a try by Isaac Dalton, converted by Kingdom, but this did not reflect any dominance and, with wrong options being taken when kicking for position, they found themselves too often under self-imposed pressure.

These transgressions eventually led to Redruth coming back into the game with a try by full-back Matt Shepherd and the first half closed out with Taunton holding the slender lead of 10-5.

The second half was an altogether different story.

Lewis Webb came off the bench to take up position at outside half, with Kingdom moved to full-back and immediately the Titans were a different outfit.

They became more cohesive, the forwards found their mojo and made life very difficult for the Redruth defence and with the side now on the front foot with the backs becoming an increasing threat, mainly through the opportunistic forays of winger Jack Arnott, the tries inevitably followed.

Hooker Chris Francis got over the line for Kingdom to convert before Freddie Fraser was released to score in the corner and suddenly Taunton were going through the gears.

Lewis Webb’s vital role was confirmed with him touching down for the bonus point try, converted by Kingdom, and although Redruth claimed a well-constructed try through their centre Jack Simmonds, converted by Frazer Honey, the Titans' supremacy was now beyond doubt with them running out worthy victors 29-12.

Titans coach, Tony Yapp, will draw satisfaction from the confirmation this victory brings in that he now knows he has a competitive side who will undoubtedly improve, particularly on their disjointed first half display, and pose a threat to the other sides in the league.

A final point is to raise our caps to 'Donkey' Kingdom, the old stager of the side, who in converting the first try in the second half passed the 2,000 point marker for the Titans – a truly significant rugby moment both for Gary and the club.