Leeds Tykes travelled to Taunton knowing that the Titans would come out all guns blazing for a big win to secure their place in National Division 1.
In a day more like the start of winter than the middle of spring, those expectations were met. The home side secured their try bonus point in just over twenty minutes.
The first try come from Ratu Vakalutukali after a series of pick and goes. Jordan Venter touched down for the second in the corner when his side won the ball after defending deep in their half. Noah Fenton scored the third as Taunton’s big and fast backs combined to eat up the yards. All three were converted by Iwan Jenkins.
Leeds weren’t without possession. They narrowed the gap when Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley made a break. He passed to Jacob Mounsey, both exchanged passes again for Mounsey to scores. Charlie Venables converted.
Taunton’s Ewan Richards scored their fourth from the restart. Alex Spurdle’s try was a forwards’ catch and drive effort. Both conversions were successful.
As the rain started, the Tykes dropped a pass just as they had a clear run to the try line. Harry Jukes broke away to score. Venables added the extras.
On the stroke of half-time, the referee confirmed with his assistant that another Taunton attempt was held-up.
Early in the second half, Harry Strong spotted a gap to score Taunton’s sixth try. Jordan Petherbridge converted.
Maxwell-Whiteley’s grubber kick bounced a little too awkwardly for Kit Keith who would’ve scored unopposed if he’d been able to capture the ball.
John Okafor didn’t have any trouble intercepting the ball, plucking it out of the air, to break away and score. Venables’ conversion was successful.
The home crowd roared as they heard that The Rams had taken a decent lead against Esher. This spurred their team on, Ben Oliphant-Thompson scored.
Leeds were awarded a penalty try when Keith was shoved as he retrieved the ball 10m out and no one was in front of him.
Taunton started their celebrations with two more tries, one was converted.
The Tykes took a try bonus point on the long trip home.
After the match, Pete Seabourne said: ” Although the result was disappointing, the players showed true grit and determination to keep going in the face of adversity. Losing 2 front row players in the first 20 minutes, Henry Derbyshire and Sam Mace, didn’t help matters. But to come away with a try bonus point was encouraging against a very good Taunton team.
“We know what our failings have been this season and we will regroup, then go again,”
59 – 28