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Excitement builds ahead of Taunton Titans' first game
11:42am Friday 31st August 2012 in Sport
HISTORY will be made when Taunton Rugby Club's newly renamed Titans take to the pitch for the first time tomorrow.
They will take on the famous Redruth Reds at Hyde Park on Saturday at 3pm - and families are urged to go and enjoy the occasion.
Titans’ coach Tony Yapp said: “We’ve prepared well and are ready for the challenge – the lads have given 100% in training.
“We’ve rung the changes in four warm-up games and are ready. It’s going to be a fast and fierce encounter as the Reds are a quality team who will bring loads of Cornish pride and passion to the game.
“We’re expecting a hard match and know the result will be a barometer for the rest of our season.”
Saturday’s encounter promises to be a thriller as Redruth, famed for their forward power game, will seek to draw Taunton into an arm wrestle up front.
The Reds will fancy their Cornish big men against Titans’ pack of untried freshmen.
Titans have pace, power and penetration in their backs, and will want to run the Reds ragged with fast, wide-ranging and open ‘total rugby’.
Given a fair share of possession, Titans have scoring potential throughout the team. England Academy No 8 Joel Conlan, on loan from Exeter Chiefs, has electric pace, and given half a chance this outstanding future star will bring the crowd to their feet with his eye for the break and devastating speed.
Titans centre pairing of ‘Pocket Battleship’ Jemba Bull and 6ft 5ins 17½-stone Luke Plummer pose a scoring threat with the ball in hand – the mercurial Plummer and abrasive Bull are a potent force in the Titans midfield.
No 9 Mike Pope was impressed in practice games, often all over his opposite number like a rash at the base of the scrum.
Experienced player-coach Tony Yapp at 10 gives Titans the edge in midfield. With Bull and Plummer outside him, and still more pace outside them with Streminski, Claydon and Giblett, Yapp has the luxury of a variety of attacking options.
The pre-season work of forwards coach Keith Brooking will be all-important to the outcome of this game. If Taunton gain parity at the breakdown and in the forward exchanges they have the fire power out wide to spring a surprise and nick this one.
Yapp asks fans to turn out in force and get behind the Titans in this hugely important game.
Keep reading this website and next week's County Gazette for more on the match.