MATCH REPORT: Rosslyn Park vs Taunton Titans

ROSSLYN PARK 38-14 TAUNTON TITANS

SATURDAY 17 FEBRUARY

By RHYS STRATTON

The 1st XV got back to winning ways at The Rock on Saturday with a victory over Taunton Titans.

The first half began with the 1st XV in the ascendancy, and an early line break by Luc Smith, who had an excellent outing before being forced off with an injury, nearly saw Charlie Walker open the scoring on the right wing, but he was dragged into touch just short of the line. The visitors opted to box kick immediately from the lineout, a plan which backfired as Matt Bolwell charged the kick down and gathered it in to score. Taunton followed this with a dangerous spell in our territory, but turnovers caused by Bolwell, Luc Smith and Arthur Ellis meant the visitors came away empty-handed. Then, after the pack squeezed a penalty at an attacking scrum, Luc Smith and Tom Stanton combined to extend Park’s lead. Soon after, Joe Luca Smith got on the end of another lovely feed from Luc Smith to extend the lead once more. Just before the break, an intentional knock down by Taunton’s Harry Wright reduced Taunton to 14.

Despite the numbers disadvantage, the Somerset outfit pulled one back soon after the restart with a lovely bit of play that resulted in Deago Bailey running it in under the posts. However, Park responded quickly with a second try for Joe Luca Smith after a pair of devastating carries by Matt Gordon and Jordan Martin marched the Taunton defence backwards and created space out wide. Taunton almost answered back when they found themselves camped on the Park tryline following a few quick penalties, but an impressive goal-line stand and a huge turnover won by Conrad Cade meant the visitors were unable to convert the pressure into points.

With a little over 20 minutes to go, the 1st XV put the result to bed as another powerful Gordon carry saw the centre bust through the defensive line and suck in multiple defenders allowing Walker to cross over in the corner. Taunton were able to get a consolation try with five minutes remaining through a Charlie Wright pick-and-go, but a late yellow card for Brian Ncube provided the platform for Archie Hosking to power his way over the line and punctuate the dominant victory.

Referee: Ben Wood

ROSSLYN PARK

Tries: Bolwell (4’), Stanton (21’), J. Smith (26’, 49’), Walker (58’), Hosking (79’)
Conversions: L. Smith (22’, 27’), Craven (50’, 80’)
Penalties: N/A
Yellow Cards: N/A

Team: Cade, Miller, Hay, Martin, Spencer, Hosking, Ellis, Bolwell, Hiscocks, L. Smith, Marfo, Gordon, Stanton, Walker, J. Smith

Replacements: Cameron, Buckingham, Stevenson, Fenley, Craven

TAUNTON TITANS

Tries: Bailey (42’), C. Wright (75’)
Conversions: Sinclair (43’, 76’)
Penalties: N/A
Yellow Cards: H. Wright (37’), Ncube (78’)

Team: Rodd, Gosling, Dalton, Rice, Leworthy, H. Wright, C. Wright, Vakalutukali, Massy-Birch, Sinclair, Stewart, Martin, Bailey, Bonnick, Dart

Replacements: Taione, Ncube, Prior, Oliphant-Thompson, Clinch

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Birmingham Moseley 32 – 28 Darlington Mowden Park
Blackheath 22 – 17 Chinnor
Plymouth Albion 24 – 3 Cinderford
Rams 33 – 12 Leicester Lions
Richmond 31 – 19 Sale
Sedgley Park 14 – 22 Bishop’s Stortford

Round 19 in National One saw a near clean sweep by the home teams as only Bishop’s Stortford were able to get a result away from home as they triumphed over Sedgley Park. Elsewhere, Moseley, Blackheath, Plymouth, Rams and Richmond all picked up wins at home with Blackheath’s 22-17 victory against Chinnor serving to snap a 9-match unbeaten run for the league leaders who are now just 1 point clear of Rams.

Up Next for Park is a trip to 12th placed Bishop’s Stortford who will be buoyed heading into the fixture after having secured their first win in seven games on Saturday.