National 2 South

Taunton Titans 19, Canterbury 14

TAUNTON Titans picked up their eighth straight win but were made to work hard by visiting Canterbury in tough conditions at the Commsplus Stadium.

The hosts let a 12-0 lead slip and trailed going into the closing stages, but Ratu Vatalutukali's try kept Taunton's 100% start to the season going for another week.

On a blustery day in the West Country, Taunton passed up an early chance to take the lead when a penalty was held up in the wind during the cagey opening phases.

Two tries towards the end of the first period proved to be crucial for Taunton, with Freddie Fraser breaking the deadlock in the corner and Tom Popham then bursting over - Gary Kingdom converted the latter.

Dan Smart's converted try reduced the deficit before the whistle sounded, and the visitors completed their comeback at the start of the second half with another converted score to take a 14-12 lead.

It took a quick tap and go from Vatalutukali, who has enjoyed a fine start to the season, to re-establish Taunton's advantage, though the conversion was missed to ensure a nervy finale.

Those nerves were frayed yet further when Canterbury earned a lineout five metres out with the last play, but fine work by Fraser ensured the Titans won a penalty - Kingdom kicked to touch to seal the victory.

The result means Titans stay top of the table ahead of next weekend's short trip to Clifton.