National 2 South

Taunton Titans 66, Wimbledon 15

TAUNTON Titans winger Ollie Rice scored a remarkable six tries as his side routed bottom of the table Wimbledon at the Commsplus Stadium.

The first half was evenly matched and gave no sign of what was to come, but 40 unanswered points after the break secured the hosts their third consecutive win.

Taunton welcomed back Gary Kingdom from injury, with Dan Frost also returning to the starting XV, and went ahead inside five minutes when Freddie Fraser released Jack Claydon for a simple finish down the left hand side - Kingdom added the extras.

Wimbledon fought back immediately, scoring a try of their own after a period of sustained pressure on the Titans line, but the conversion was missed and Taunton extended their lead through Rice's first of a productive afternoon.

The former Exmouth man had skipper Nick Mason to thank, however, as the outside centre's superb flick through the hands to Kingdom put the try on a plate for the winger.

Wimbledon's forwards rumbled over again to reduce the deficit to four points, with the conversion again missed, before more flair from Mason - this time an offload out the back of the hand - led to Rice's second try under the posts.

Visiting centre Leighton Bellamore then cruised over for a try from James Doe's pass, but the latter skewed his third conversion attempt wide as Wimbledon kept in touch with tries but paid for a lack of precision from the tee.

Rice's first half work wasn't finished, meanwhile, and he sprinted past his opposite number to secure his hat-trick with the final action of the opening period, which ended with Taunton 26-15 ahead.

If the first half was closer than the league table would have suggested, the second proved why there is such a gap between the two teams as Taunton ran riot.

Rice added his fourth, popping up infield to receive Toby East's pass before deftly stepping past his man en route to the line, and then scored again after being set free down the right by Kingdom.

Not to be outdone on the other wing, Claydon galloped past the Wimbledon number eight to score his second of the day in the left hand corner - Kingdom added an excellent conversion.

READ MORE: As it happened: Titans thump basement club Wimbledon

The visitors' day was going from bad to worse, and Taunton scored their next try direct from Wimbledon's own restart as Doe's delicate chip - which only just went the 10 yards - popped up nicely for Ratu Vakalutukali and the flanker ran in unopposed from inside his own half.

That score brought up a 50-point haul for the second successive week, and the Titans were in no mood to stop there as yet another overlap resulted in a deserved try for Nick Mason.

Fittingly, however, it was Rice who had the final word as he collected Lewis Webb's pass to go over from close range and pick up his sixth score of the afternoon.

Toby East converted to take the score to 66-15 with 10 minutes to play and, to their credit, Wimbledon continued to battle and prevented any further punishment.

Next up for Taunton, who are beginning to find form again after stumbling before Christmas, is a trip to Westcountry rivals Redruth next Saturday.

Taunton Titans: Connor Baker, Paul Davis, Isaac Dalton, Brett Harvey, Stuart Persey, Ratu Vakalutukali, Dan Frost, James Fleming; Lewis Webb, Toby East, Jack Claydon, Freddie Fraser, Nick Mason, Ollie Rice, Gary Kingdom.

Replacements: Andy Hamilton, James Kenny, Ben Oliphant-Thompson, Blake Lugg, Connor Banks.