VICTORY for Taunton Titans at home to Esher tomorrow (2.30pm) would take Tony Yapp’s men top of the National 2 South table going into the last five games of the season.

The Titans kept themselves two points off leaders Tonbridge Juddians by grinding out a 29-22 victory at home to Dings Crusaders last Saturday.

Tomorrow’s rearranged match with Esher is their game in hand on Tonbridge, so represents a key opportunity for the Titans to hit the front ahead of the final straight.

But with third-placed Henley Hawks just a point behind Taunton - and Redruth four points further back going into a match at Leicester Lions on Saturday - now is not the time for any slip-ups.

Esher sit eighth in the table, but head coach Yapp knows his side cannot be complacent - especially having lost 10-8 in the reverse fixture.

Yapp told the County Gazette: “We lost to them in tough conditions [in November].

“We didn’t deal with the conditions well and missed out by two points.

“We’ve got to give a better account of ourselves here, but equally we expect a tough test from Esher.”

Yapp said that his squad had taken “a few bumps and knocks” from the Dings match, and while there was “nothing too serious”, players’ fitness would be assessed ahead of tomorrow's game.

Fitness permitting, Taunton home to name a similar squad, potentially with the additions of back row forward Julian Salvi and scrum-half Pierre Thompson.

They missed last Saturday’s match, but are back in contention for the Esher fixture.

Yapp is also hopeful of another big home crowd coming out to cheer the Titans on, saying: “It make a huge difference to us.

“The more noise there is, the more it adds to the players’ energy levels.

“These are exciting times for the club, so we hope to have as many people on board as possible.”

Pick up a copy of this week's County Gazette for our two-for-one entry offer for tomorrow's match between Taunton and Esher