THE result was all that mattered for Taunton Titans yesterday, as they overcame lowly Birmingham & Solihull to leapfrog Canterbury ahead of next weekend's promotion showdown.

Four first-half tries helped the hosts win 27-17 at the Commsplus Stadium, and head coach Tony Yapp was pleased to have seen his side grind it out.

He told the County Gazette: "A win is a win, and it's massive for us.

"We got the five points again, and it's great to have won six on the bounce now.

"In terms of our performance we are a little bit disappointed."

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He explained: "I think our first half was excellent, as there were times when we ripped them to pieces.

"At that point we looked comfortable, but sometimes we just have to make sure our mindset doesn't change to one of being comfortable.

"If you get six opportunities and score two, that's great, but it's still only 10, 12 or 14 points.

"If you get six opportunities and score six, that's the game done and dusted – there's no way back in for the opposition.

"So for us, creating those chances is great, we just need to be a little more ruthless in our finishing and how we deliver that last little bit of play, and we'll work on that this week."

Birmingham may be second from bottom in the standings, but Yapp was not surprised by their competitive display, especially after the first 20 minutes.

He said: "Birmingham are down towards the bottom of the league, but having watched their performance against Dings Crusaders last week, we certainly didn't underestimate them.

"They showed today that they have a lot of fight and lots of character, and what you find is that most teams reassess where they're at over Christmas.

"I think what they've done is they've looked and said 'we need to avoid relegation', so they're fighting hard every week, and every point matters for them.

"The intensity in the league goes up a notch after Christmas, based on whether you want to finish in the top two or avoiding relegation, so every team we come across now will be tough, especially those near the bottom."

Several Titans players left the field with injuries, but the head coach did not think any of them were serious.

He said: "Charlie Williams played very well today and scored a great try, but he clashed heads with Jarrard [Hayler] and we took them both off as a precaution.

"I think we could have put both back on, as the physio said they both seem OK.

"Nick Mason took a bit of a knock, but he was able to go back on, so we should be all good going into next week."

This coming Saturday brings a trip to Canterbury, who are now third in the table after the Titans' win and their 23-20 loss at Dings Crusaders yesterday.

Yapp added: "We've won six on the bounce and I think today was a little bit of a wake-up call in terms of the competitiveness of this league.

"The fact that Dings have beaten Canterbury shows that they're vulnerable as well, and they'll be desperate to bounce back next week.

"We're above them now, and we have an opportunity to create more of a gap, but we know it's going to be tough.

"They've been on a real good run themselves; we know they're a good team, they're well coached and well organised, and we're going to have to be at our best.

"Today was a bit of a blip in terms of our performance, but we will aim to back it up with a better one next week."