National 2 South
Bury St Edmunds 20, Taunton Titans 26

THE Titans made it seven wins from seven on Saturday, but only after coming through their toughest test to date, coming back from 17-3 down at half time, writes Keith Brooking.

On a glorious day it was the home side that took it to the visitors, scoring a try within two minutes as they broke a tackle in midfield and winger Chris Lord went in under the posts.

Fly-half Fraser Honey, who played at Cornish All Blacks last season and for Barnstaple in the first game of the season, converted to give Bury a 7-0 lead.

The Titans were still on the proverbial bus as they squandered chances, seeming to force things rather than play their normal controlled game, and it was the home side that scored again with a converted try through flanker Sean Stapleton, after exploiting some weak defence in the 16th minute.

Honey then slotted a drop goal to give the hosts a well-deserved 17-0 lead.

The visitors needed to get themselves in the game, and two minutes before half time the trusty boot of full-back Gary Kingdom kicked a penalty to get them on the scoreboard.

There were lots of things to address at half time, and if Taunton wanted to get anything out of their long trip they needed to improve drastically in the second half – and that they did.

From the kick-off they kept hold of the ball and went phase after phase down the pitch to claim a penalty just inside Bury’s 22.

Then came a rare occurrence when the referee went down with an injury and had to be replaced by the touch judge.

Kingdom kicked the penalty after the delay and then added a third a couple of minutes later to make the score 17-9.

The Titans were now into their stride, the home side started to look tired and gaps were appearing, with a fairly large one allowing Sam Prior to power his way down the line to score the away side's first try from quite a way out on 50 minutes.

Kingdom added the conversion from out wide to make it a one-point game with 30 minutes still to play.

The Titans kept attacking and were rewarded with a second converted try in the 61st minute, scored by flanker Dan Frost and converted by Kingdom, to give the Titans the lead for the first time, 23-17.

As was Taunton’s want for most of the game, they committed suicide by conceding a penalty straight away, which Honey slotted from the 10m line to close the gap.

The game now flowed from end to end, with some outstanding defence from both sides, and it was the visitors who conceded another penalty, only for Honey to push this one wide.

Kingdom extended the lead with another penalty, but with a minute to go Taunton handed Bury one last chance, giving a penalty away in midfield which was kicked to the corner.

With the lineout won, the home side moved it towards the line, but as the ball was shipped to the wing some desperate defence forced Bury into touch, and the final whistle brought a hard-fought win.

Taunton Titans: Kingdom, Fraser, Mason, Popham, Rice, East, Webb, Baker (Kenny 62), Hamilton (Francis 48), Dalton, Persey, Lugg, Fleming (Harvey 25), Frost, Prior. Replacements not used: England, Banks.