SECOND-PLACED Taunton Titans have been urged to “be professional” as they head to National 2 South’s bottom club Westcliff tomorrow.

The Southend-on-Sea-based hosts have lost each of their opening six matches, but Titans head coach Tony Yapp is leaving no room for complacency.

“We have to make sure we prepare well, roll our sleeves up and focus,” Yapp said.

“We are not good enough to turn up to any game assuming ‘we’ll win’ and if we are not right on it we will be punished.

“The ending to last week’s game [a 38-36 win over Old Albanian, which saw the hosts almost blow a 38-21 lead] was a bit of a kick up the backside and showed we cannot afford to switch off.”

Taunton are without Dan Lee, Tom Popham, Aron Struminski, Julian Salvi, Ratu Vakalutukali and Freddie Fraser for tomorrow's match, but Yapp believes the squad can cope.

“We are missing a few but that creates opportunities for others,” he said.

“The Warriors put 50 points on an Army Under-23 side on Tuesday night, which shows the talent in the young lads coming through.”


IT'S a big weekend of rugby elsewhere, of course, writes Richard Browne.

On a local level, Wellington travel to Saltash tomorrow and Wiveliscombe are away to Falmouth (both in Western Counties West), while Somerset Premier side Minehead Barbarians host Nailsea & Backwell.

Sunday sees Minehead Barbarians Ladies head to Penryn for a Women’s NC 2 South West (West) clash.

Then there's the small matter of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

It kicks off tomorrow morning, with England v Australia (8.15am start, UK time) and New Zealand v Ireland (11.15am).

On Sunday, it's Wales v France (8.15am) and Japan v South Africa (11.15am).

I predicted England, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales to be the four semi-finalists before the tournament began (truly courageous, I know), so I guess I will be sticking with that quartet to win this weekend.

All matches are being televised live on ITV.