Stalemate at Hyde Park
An entertaining game that ended in a draw, but the Titans will be ruing missed chances and giving up the lead
In near perfect conditions this was a game that both teams went out with attack on their minds and entertained the bumper crowd right to the last whistle.
It was Redruth that started the brightest when number 8 Kyle Marriott found himself at the bottom of the pile to score. This gave the visitors some momentum and when they had a lineout on the Titans 22 and with a nice move off the back winger Lewis Vinnicombe strolled under the posts untouched. Fly half Roger Rule added the simple conversion to give Redruth a 12 point lead.
Taunton then started to get themselves back in the game. From a lineout the Taunton pack went over the line with second row Blake Lugg scoring but the referee had seen an offence and went under the posts for a penalty try. Gary Kingdom stepped up and converted. The home side then started to take control.
First number 8 Sam Prior powered his way over. From a scrum Sam just outside the Redruth 22 he picked up and drove forward and then after 10 + phases was on hand again to power his way over with Nick Mason adding his weight to drive him through, again Kingdom converted to give the Titans the lead. The Titans then started to keep the ball and go through the phases and managed to frustrate Redruth which resulted in Jack Oulton getting a yellow card. The Titans took full advantage and extend their lead once more. From the resulting penalty and kick to the corner and from the resulting drive the ball was popped out to flanker Conor Harbison who raced around to score. Kingdom added the conversion on the stroke of half time making the score 21 – 12.
The Titans used the man advantage after the break when from a turnover deep in the Redruth 22 the ball was shipped wide for skipper Nick Mason to outflank the defence to score. Once again Kingdom converted which meat that the Titans added 14 points while Redruth were down to 14 something that didn’t go unnoticed by Head Coach Marek Churcher who said after the game ‘I think we missed Jack Oulton when he was off as Taunton certainly capitalised. We started really well for the first 20 minutes and then played well in the last 20 as well. So as we only played for 40 minutes the result is quite good and it shows the grit and determination that these group of players have built over the season.’
With the Titans now commanding a 14 point lead Redruth needed to score next and that they did when hooker Richard Browne was at the back of a driving maul as it rumbled over the Titans line. Rule converted to make the score 28 – 19. The Titans were then reduced to 14 when number 8 Sam Prior was shown a yellow and the visitors scored once again this time through stalwart Chris Fuca. Rule once again added the extras to bring them within 2 points.
Just before Prior re-joined the game the Titans increased their lead once more when from a lineout just outside the Redruth 22 the Titans went through several phases with the ball moved from one side of the pitch to the other for winger Freddie Fraser to dance his way over the line. The conversion was missed by Kingdom but he had the opportunity to make it a 10 point gap with a penalty in the Redruth 22 with 5 minutes to go but never got the opportunity as the penalty was taken quickly and the chance wasted.
Instead Redruth showed their resiliency and that team spirit and marched up the pitch for prop Tommy Phillips to score. Rule kicked the conversion to tie the scores. Both teams tried to find the winning score but as the Titans were on the attack they got held up and the final whistle blew. Tony Yapp, Titans head coach, said ‘You have to give Redruth credit they stayed in the game long enough and managed to manufacture the opportunity for the final try to tie the game. We played some really good stuff and scored some good tries but on the flip side some of our decision making in the 2nd half was poor especially when we were ahead.’ Both coaches agreed however that this was a great game for the neutrals.