CANTERBURY 22 TAUNTON TITANS 25
A try seven minutes from the end wrecked Canterbury’s push for a victory that seemed well within their grasp as they dominated the second half of this National 2 South game.
It was scored by Taunton hat trick man, centre Dan Frost, who returned from an earlier sin binning to crush the city side’s hopes.
They put the frustrations of a disappointing first half behind them, where they conceded three tries and failed to make the most the most of their chances, and brought a new purpose to their work. By the end of the third quarter they had added two tries to the one scored early in the game and were seven points ahead
With Titans, like the city side before them, failing to make best use of wind and slope, victory was beckoning but the opportunities to make it happen were, once again, ignored. When the new dynamism of the pack had been rewarded with tries from back row men Tyler Edwards and Hugh McCormick-Huston, the pace of Canterbury’s backs opened inviting gaps. But the failure to exploit them has been the story of their season and, despite huge improvements on last week’s lack lustre performance, they could not find a way to win.
Canterbury started the match in fine style with a catch and drive score from hooker Tom Rogers converted by Ollie Best after four minutes. But Taunton are not one of the league’s top three sides for nothing and on the back of a solid pack and some suspect tackling, were soon back in the mix. Frost’s first try came after Titans twice exploited gaps around the fringes of the ruck and a piecing run from wing Aron Struminski set up posiiton for Nick Mason to cross. Ollie Best squared matters with a penalty goal before Frost struck for a second time.. None of the scores was converted but Titans defended well against some fierce catch and drive pressure then were let off the hook when a delayed pass was knocked on with the line beckoning.
Canterbury’s prospects at the turn round did not look promising, five points down and now facing wind and slope, but the transformation in their approach was a tribute to their strength.
They upped the pressure immediately and five minutes into the new half McCormick-Huston stretched over and Best’s conversion won back the lead. A break by the foraging George Micans and a run from full back Aiden Moss was the prelude to the Edwards try which pressed Canterbury’s claims. Gary Kingdom kicked a penalty goal for Titans but breaks by Guy Hilton and Moss did not end in the tries they deserved and a heavy price was paid. Canterbury made a handling mistake which turned over possession before Frost stepped through the tackles too easily to hand out a harsh lesson in making the most of things when it matters.
Canterbury: A.Moss, G.Hilton, T.Best, W.Farris, H.Sayers (repl M.Beaumont, repl B.Howard), O.Best, D.Smart, A.Cooper (repl J.Green), T.Rogers (repl S.Rogers), S.Kenny (repl A.Cooper), T.Burns (repl G.Edwards), R.Cadman, T.Edwards (repl T.Rogers), H.McCormick-Huston, G.Micans
|11||Bury St Edmunds||30||64|
|12||London Irish Wild Geese||30||56|
|W||22 Apr||Bury St. Edmunds||14-13|
|L||25 Feb||Bishop's Stortford||30-46|
|W||11 Feb||London Irish WG||21-17|
|L||4 Feb||Taunton Titans||5-30|
|D||21 Jan||Bishop's Stortford||0-0|
|L||17 Dec||Old Elthamians||14-18|
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