Titans tame the Wild Geese as Fraser runs in 3
Taunton Titans got back to somewhere near their potential scoring 5 tries as well as giving several fringe players their chance.
This was another entertaining game ay Hyde Park with some wonderful individual and team tries scored by both teams.
The Titans opened the scoring with a penalty through Gary Kingdom before the first try of the game went to London Irish with prop Kerry O’Sullivan going over after a couple of great breaks by scrum half Thomas Baker. This gave the visitors the lead before the Titans scored a converted try through Freddie Fraser. With the Titans throwing into a lineout just inside the Irish half, the ball was won and spread to the opposite side of the field. The ball was quickly recycled and with two long passes by Kingdom and Lewis Webb, Fraser found himself in the same place where the lineout was formed and used hi pace to wrong foot the covering defence and run in under the posts. Kingdom kicked the conversion before adding a second penalty.
The game then swung back and forth before Wild Geese winger George Owen showed great pace after some soft Titans defence saw him break the attempting tackles and outpace the cover and make the half time score 13 – 10.
Early in the second half London Irish kicked a penalty through Oliver Turner, after Titans Dan Frost was sent to the sin bin, to tie the score before the hosts took control. From a scrum just outside the Irish 22 Sam Prior barged his way forward before Sean Lonsdale carried it even further. The ball was made available and sent across the field where some good accurate passing allowed Nick Mason to drop the ball back inside to winger Tim Thompson, who was making his first start for the Titans, to score.
A lineout on the halfway was won by the Titans and with Prior, who was back to his rampaging best drawing in the defence once again with a couple of drives the ball was skilfully spread out wide. Centre Tom Popham then took on the defence and managed to off load to Fraser who this time used all of his deceptive strength to break the tackles and went in for his second with Kingdom converting. Irish then mauled over a try with hooker Karl Gibson claiming the touch down after some concerted pressure, and with Turner converting it made it a 5 point game with 15 minutes to go.
The home side then started to up the pace and Fraser scored his hat trick try with one of the tries of the season. The home pack were doing a lot of damage to the opposition 8 and stole a lineout on the halfway line. The packed drove it on before releasing the backs. The ball was shipped out to Thompson who took it to the Wild Geese 10 meter line and switched with Fraser. He then took the tackle and slipped the ball out the back to Mason who did exactly the same and popped it back to Fraser to score. Captain Nick Mason then intercepted as the Wild Geese tried to play their way out of their 22 and gently dotted down under the posts. Kingdom converted both to put a gloss on the score.
This wasn’t the Titans at their best but the second half showed that if they keep to what they are good at, keeping the ball, running hard and using the space they can score tries at will. Hopefully this will be the lesson they needed for the rest of the season.