The Plymouth Titans competed in, and won The Southwest 9’s last Sunday 6th May
The Titans made a little more history last weekend when they entered and won the annual Southwest Rugby league 9 a side tournament. Titans were the very First Southwest conference club to win the tournament back in 2007. Strong favourites, Exeter university, have won the annual event since... until Titans won it back last Sunday
Teams entered included :
• the hosts, Exeter Centurions
• Exeter University, whom had won the event since 2008.
• Bicton College
• North Devon Raiders
• Devon Sharks
• Oxford Cavaliers
• And of Course the Titans
The Titans squad had a mix of some experienced players and a hand full of youngsters who were new to the code.
All teams were split into 2 groups with the titans being drawn into the tougher of the two groups (2)with Bicton college, Exeter University and the Nth Devon Raiders.
The Titans kicked off their campaign against the Raiders from Barnstable and didn’t have it all their own way going behind by 2 tries very early on. However this seemed to be the wakeup call needed as Titans began to kick into gear and dominate from here onward. The Raiders didn’t go down without a fight though and pushed all the way. Titans eventually wining 28 points to 16 seeing them off to a good start.
Next up, Bicton college, a team full of big fast youngsters. The game ebbed and flowed with Bicton and Titans going in front then behind to begin with. The second half proved to be the difference as again the young Titans squad, still learning, stepped up the pace to see the titans grab the victory, by 16 points to 12
The final group game would decide who would play against the group winners / runners up of group 1. Exeter Uni started really well in this one scorning twice and yet again the titans stepped up to the mark. However Exeter University managed to claim the group winners slot by edging the titans out 18 points to 12.
The good news for Titans was that the loss didn’t make too much difference as the Titans had qualified for the semi final as the 2nd placed in group 2, to play against winners of group 1.
Because of the way the groups were configured 3 teams in group 1 and 4 in group 2. Bicton still had a chance for a semi final slot as they had to play against 2nd placed (group 1) Devon Sharks.
Unfortunately for Devon Sharks, Bicton proved to be the stronger of the two teams and gained the semi final slot against Exeter Uni, who they had played in the group stages earlier and had narrowly lost by 6 points.
Before that though Titans v Cavaliers.
For a change the titans started the match very well, but Cavaliers were not letting Titans have it all their own way and the match though low scoring was pretty even. Titans came out of a bruising battle with a 4 point difference winning by 12 points to 8.
Exeter Uni and Bicton’s semi final was just as close, with Exeter Uni coming out on top again to Face the Titans in the Final
The Final was very eventful, Exeter uni taking the lead, Titans scoring and converting to nudge in front. The game was very different to the group encounter between the two. At full time both teams had registered 12 points, this meant 6 mins extra time to be played in 2 halves.
Again the battle raged with a score each, however Plymouth began to dominate and place Exeter Uni under pressure with back to back sets. (winning the ball back in consecutive sets of 6) Exeter ‘s defence was un penetrable. Extra time came to an end and again all square at 16 points each.
The completion now came down to the Golden point, First team to score any points takes the title.
Titans domination continued as A clever kick off, from the Titans, rolled into touch deep into the university’s territory (in league the team kicking the ball from the kick off and regains the possession and has the feed at the scrum)
More and more pressure on the Exeter team again titans getting possession back to have another go at sealing the game. Eventually the tide was broken when Johnny Platt, Titans player coach this season, kicked his first ever drop goal to win the game, by 1 point, and the tournament. Titans winning 17 points to 16 in an enthralling final.
“I am very proud of the squad. To come here and do so well with a very young and inexperienced squad was fantastic, and then to turn over the odds on favourites in the final was just the icing on the cake. Some of the team were making their league debuts today. Joe Paton was our only real forward, ran his heart out today. He may have earned a place in the southwest colleges squad on the back of his performance also. Another youngster making his debut, was Konnor Wallace-Sims who put in match winning performances and scored some dazzling tries.
No small bonus for the day, was the player of the tournament award being presented to Titan Johnny Platt, well deserved”