The Titans Slay the Raiders
The Titans put in a great performance to claim and emphatic win over Worthing Raiders.
With both teams making several changes due to injuries and unavailability’s but it was the home side that started with a bang. Within the first 5 minutes flanker Ratu Vakalutukali forced his way over for a try after several pick and goes close to the Worthing Line. Gary Kingdom added the extras. Straight from the kick off winger Ollie Rice beat his man in 2 meters of space deep in his own half and took it to the half way line. The ball was recycled through a few phases before fly half Toby East off loaded to prop James Kenny who executed a perfect 2 on 1 to release fellow front row, hooker Andy Hamilton, who was making his first start for the Titans, to race in from the Worthing 22 meter line.
Kingdom then went over for try from an inside pass from centre Tom Popham before the visitors got onto the score sheet with a try scored by fly half Mathew Mclean who converted his own try to close the gap to 10 points. That was as close as the Raiders came as the Titans then took control and ran in a further 10 tries. Ratu Vakalutukali went in for his second, after moving the ball from side to side and over 10 phases stretching the Raiders defence it allowed Toots to throw the dummy and race through under the posts. Tom Popham then went under the posts after Captain Nick Mason made the break but was tackled just short of the line and off loaded to Popham to score. This was followed by Freddie Fraser scoring in the Car Park corner. This was started from a stolen lineout from 2nd row Blake Lugg and sent out for Sam Prior to crash up and then prop Isaac Dalton, who carried 3 times in the build up to the try, the ball was then spread to the wing before it was then sent to the opposite side for Fraser to score. Then on the stroke of half time a quick tap by scrum half Lewis Webb nearly put Ollie Rice over but he was felled just short but a pop pass to Vakalutukali and he dived under the tackler to score and claim a 1st half hat trick. With Kingdom converting one of the 3 tries the half time score was 41 – 7.
The second half was much of the same and was all about the brace. Kingdom went over for his 2nd try from a scrum on the Titans 10 meter line the ball was spread wide and Kingdom showed pace the belied his years to race in. The Raiders and Mclean went over for their 2nd converted try. Tom Popham then scored his 2nd using Sam Prior as a rather large decoy before Ollie Rice finally got on the score sheet after gathering his kick through. Another player scoring a brace was Andy Hamilton, this one from a driving maul, before the referee awarded Taunton a penalty try as the scrum was rumbling over the line. The Titans had the final word on the final whistle when the ball was sent out to the opposite wing from a lineout and the ball then worked back to the stand side of the pitch for James Kenny to find himself on the wing and attract the defence for a round the back off load, as per All Black Milner-Skudder, to backrow Dan Frost to go over in the corner. With Kingdom converting from the touch line taking his tally for the day to 24 points and making the final score 81 – 14.
With 6 changes to the starting XV from the previous Saturday and another player gaining their Titans debut in scrum half Connor Banks producing a performance that spanned both halves was great to see. Where in some games the Titans have been guilty of letting teams off the hook, this time they showed their ruthless streak and managed to score 41 points in the 1st half and 40 in the second. With league leader Cinderford losing at home to Chinnor the Taunton now find themselves at the top of the league with 30 points out of a possible 30 but now is where it starts getting tougher as everyone will be aiming to knock the Titans off their perch.