REDRUTH 29 – 27 TAUNTON TITANS (HT 10-3)
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground
Redruth took the spoils in this action packed game which could have swung Taunton’s way during a tense finale.
Redruth head coach Pale Nonu was delighted that his young side had shown great maturity. “That was a cracking game of rugby with two sides looking to play an expansive game. We had to defend like Trojans early on as they came at us down the slope, we did well to hold them to just the three points.
“Credit to the boys they played for each other and trusted the systems we put in place. In the second half we played some good rugby scoring some good tries so overall I was delighted with that performance.”
Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s silence in respect of club members who sadly passed away over the summer.
Taunton raced out of the blocks from the whistle putting pressure on Redruth and earning a penalty kicked by fly-half Sam Brown.
The home defence proved up to the task repelling the incessant Titans’ attacks. The siege was lifted with Redruth drawing level thanks to a Richie Kevern penalty.
Redruth had both skipper Matt Gidlow and Craig Williams yellow carded during the opening half hour managing to survive both sin-bins without conceding.
Redruth’s line out, so often an Achilles heel in past seasons was top-draw, with Ed Pascoe and Brad Howe providing some quality ball, to set up some great attacking mauls.
Connor Gilbert over the ball Photo: Dan Barbary
As half-time approached it was Taunton’s turn to lose a player to the bin, lock Milo Reynolds. Redruth turned up the pressure with a string of penalties kicked to the corner with Titans infringing once too often and referee Charles Gayther awarding the home side a penalty-try.
Redruth made a great start to the second half with an unconverted try in the Piggy lane corner scored by flying wing Dean Bonds.
They further increased their lead after centres Connor Gilbert and Jack Simmons put full-back Aaron Simmonds in for a try on his home debut, converted by Kevern giving the Reds what seemed an impressive lead.
Referee Gayther then trotted under the posts awarding Taunton the first of two penalty-tries in their favour awarded during the final ten minutes, setting up an anxious closing few minutes.
Aaron Simmonds adds a conversion – Photo: Dan Barbary
Crucially Redruth made the game safe when James Tucker intercepted to trot in under the posts with Simmonds having assumed kicking duties from the departed Kevern adding the extras.
A tense finally saw Ratu Vakalutukali go over for a his side’s third try but crucially Brown missed the conversion before Charles Gayther awarded Taunton a second penalty try at the death to leave them with two bonus points but happily the Reds with five and the Redruth crowd thrilled by the performance of their young side.
REDRUTH: Simmonds, Bonds, Simmons, Gilbert, Cornish, Kevern (Tucker 69), Oulton, Tompsett (Salt 50), Gidlow (Capt) (Barnes 60), Williams (Tompsett 64), Pascoe, Fox, Stevens (Barnes 17-25)(Prisk 25), Grubb (Stevens 18), Howe.
Replacement (not used): Hallam
Redruth scores: Tries, Penalty-try, Bonds, Simmonds, Tucker, Cons, Kevern, Simmonds, Pen, Kevern.
Yellow Cards: Gidlow (15), Williams (26)
TAUNTON TITANS: Rice, Kolowoski, Fraser, Keay (Nash 43), Struminski, Brown, Webb, Baker, Spurdle (Francis 69), Dalton (Haines 50), Reynolds, England (Harvey 45), Vakalutukali, Hayler, Prior (Oliphant-Thompson 55).
Taunton scores: Tries Kolowoski, Penalty-tries (2), Vakalutukali, Pen Brown.
Yellow Card: Reynolds (36)
REFEREE: Charles Gayther (RFU)
St. Austell Brewery Redruth man-of-the-match: Connor Gilbert. The centre broke the line on numerous occasions and help set up Aaron Simmonds try. Tackled like a demon in mid-field.