AFTER the previous three weeks’ disappointment, we were back at home on Saturday to face a Taunton side that sat two places above us in the league.
When we played them earlier in the season, we ground out a hard-earned victory with a performance that we felt, at the time, was our best of the season.
We knew that to beat them again we would have to improve our game from the last few weeks and get back to doing the basics well.
The side this week saw a few changes. With Rob Smith unavailable, I went to 8 and Finlay Coxon-Smith moved to 6 and Will Stutchbury came into the second row. Paul Dunkley hadn’t recovered from a knock he received against Ealing, so we welcomed back Matt McLean. We also had two 19-year-old home debutants, one on the wing, Ian Greenwood playing for Joe Govett, and Henry Stevens at prop.
This week, we were looking to take our frustrations out on our opposition. After some honest and frank discussions during the week, it was time to put in a performance we were proud of and play to our potential.
The final scoreline suggests we got somewhere near to that. We controlled the game from the kick-off and scored our first try within the first five minutes and, from there, we scored at regular intervals throughout the match.
Our forwards were able to secure enough clean ball for the backs to cut loose and score some fantastic tries. The backs didn’t have it all their own way, though, with the forwards taking the opportunity and getting in on the try-scoring act.
When Taunton did get the ball and pressurised our line, our defence was more than up to the task and their attacks usually resulted in a turnover from which we launched yet another attack.
Taunton were just unable to live with us on this day. They are a far better side than the score suggests, but they just caught us on a day when everything clicked.
In fact, on waking on Sunday morning, the bruised and battered bodies were evident the game was competitive throughout.
The final result was our largest win of the season and a great way to bounce back from the disappointing losing streak we had been on.
Other wins this week went to Ealing, Richmond, Henley, Clifton, Jersey, OA’s and Clifton.
This week, we make the short trip to Newbury in what is the start of the countdown to the end of the season.
We are not taking this game lightly, the Newbury side has some dangerous ball runners and we want to continue this good form to end the season.
We hope to see as many of you who can make it as possible.