National One Rugby: Taunton Titans 33-36 Blackheath

TAUNTON Titans have started the 2023/24 season with a defeat at home against Blackheath.

The match was end-to-end as both sides looked to attack first and the end score was 33-36 in favour of the visitors.

Taunton managed to pick up two bonus points in the loss towards the National One Rugby table.

It was a slow start from the Titans and Blackheath capitalised with good field position early on.

In the fifth minute they were able to spread the ball wide where they broke the line and good support play from Leo Harding earned him the opening try. Conversion was missed and the score was 0-5.

But Taunton quickly snapped into action and took the lead in the 11th minute after an incredible charge from Sam Prior from inside his own 22 opened up the play for Frankie dart to shoot through and score under the posts, he converted the try to make it 7-5.

Markus Burnham was shown a yellow card for not releasing in the 16th minute and Blackheath were reduced to 14.

In the 19th minute Dan Martin crossed after repeated attempts on the try line for Taunton, Dart converted to make the score 14-5.

That try didn’t deter Blackheath as they went the length in one set to score whilst a man down. It was converted to bring the scores to 14-12.

27 minutes in Isaac Dalton did what he always does and scored a try from close range to push Titans further in front, dart converted to make the score 21-12.

However, in the 36th minute Blackheath were in again with another straightforward try through the middle of Titans defence.

The conversion was missed to make the score 21-17 and the visitors took the lead once again with yet another straightforward try right before the break and it was converted to make it 21-24 at half time.

The second half got off to a difficult start for the hosts as Luke Bralsford was shown a yellow card for a professional foul in the 44th minute.

Then in the following passage of play the visitors ran the length to score, it was converted and the score was 21-31.

With the extra man the away team continued to pile on the pressure and ran in another try in the 48th minute, this time the conversion was missed but the score was 21-36 with half an hour to play.

The score remained the same until the 77th minute when Niall Armstrong crashed over for Taunton to bring the score to 26-36.

In the next two minutes Taunton were all out on the attack and Dart crossed for another try for him which he quickly converted it to bring the score to 33-36.

From looking down and out Taunton now looked a chance, and the hosts had one final push to level the scores but Blackheath held on and picked up the win.

All in all a good game for the spectator with plenty of good tries and there were positives for the titans in the defeat.