Match Preview – Taunton Titans (A)

The 1st XV are headed to Taunton this weekend to take on the 12th placed Titans.

A fortnight ago, after a frustrating loss away at Rams the week prior, the 1st XV regathered themselves to produce a monstrous performance and thrash Sedgley Park by 67 points to 15. Both the players and the coaching staff will be hoping to bounce back from last week’s loss to Chinnor in a similar fashion.

Our opposition this week have had a peculiar start to the season as they currently sit above both Sale and Leicester Lions in the table despite being the only team in the league yet to record a victory. Taunton have managed to tally an impressive eight bonus points across their six losses, in large part thanks to their free-scoring attack that has seen them run in 24 tries and pick up four try bonus points so far. Park, meanwhile, have touched down 31 times (!) across the opening six rounds and have yet to score less than three times in a match.

With this in mind, all signs point to the possibility of a shootout of epic proportions this weekend and the high-scoring history between these two sides in recent seasons seems to suggest the same. Park have faced Taunton just four times since the Titans’ promotion to National One and the average points total of the winners of those matches is a whopping 54. Three of those winning totals belong to Park as, in 2021/22, we welcomed Taunton to life in the 3rd tier with a 14-40 hammering which was followed by a 68-21 drubbing at The Rock. In the following meeting, the most complete performance of last season saw the 1st XV hold the Somerset outfit scoreless in a comprehensive 52-0 shutout victory. However, at the tail end of last season, Taunton produced a surprising upset as they picked up a 57-26 win that proved crucial in ensuring their survival. This defeat will still be fresh in the minds of many of the 1st XV and will provide plenty of extra motivation headed into Saturday’s clash.