Battling Wolfpack give it their all in Taunton but it isn’t enough as the Titans win
- Credit: Archant
Taunton 24 Bury St Edmunds 10
Bury will feel pretty aggrieved to have come away from Somerset with nothing to show for their efforts, writes Simon Lord.
After some recent rather indifferent away performances, The Wolfpack put a real shift in at a rain-swept Hyde Park.
Historic games between the two sides have always been free flowing matches with not more than a score separating the sides. Sadly an already heavy underfoot pitch turned quickly into a quagmire as the rain arrived, meaning the game was always going to be a battle of attrition.
It was the Titans who took the lead on 11 minutes. This time it was Bury that coughed up possession and Mason was first to react. The centre pounced on the loose ball, and when it looked for all the world that he would send his side right, he spotted a dog leg in the Bury defence down the left and engineered the space for winger Jack Claydon to slide over. Kingdom’s fine conversion from the touchline put the hosts seven points to the good.
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For the next 20 minutes however, it was Bury that held the upper hand. As conditions dictated, the ball was kept close in hand with Uru, King and Mitchell all carrying well. In the scrum Smith and Coutts were holding their own and with Bury having the lion’s share of possession, they needed to make it count.
On 32 minutes, another fine drive by Tui Uru this time did winkle enough space for Scholes to race through and dive over by the posts. Fraser Honey added the extras and Bury were deservedly back level.
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Within three minutes of the restart, Titans’ star Dan Frost, who has recently spent time with Exeter and The Cornish Pirates in the Championship showed a real turn of both pace and power to blast down the blindside swatting away tacklers to set up the supporting Jamie Fleming for the score. Again Kingdom landed the conversion from out of the touchline mud.
Another Kingdom penalty made it 17-7 but the Wolfpack showed a spirit and determination that has been sometimes lacking in recent weeks, continuing to battle hard.
Honey twice pinned Taunton back with superb kicks to the corner and although the hosts cleared their lines the first time, Uri returned the ball with interest on the second occasion giving Honey the simple chance of converting a penalty awarded directly in front of the posts.
It was Taunton however who upped the tempo in the final minutes and finished the stronger.
On 73 minutes another Frost inspired drive took the Titans deep into the Bury 22 and it took valiant last-gasp tackling to hold the hosts up over the line.
The respite was short-lived as back came Taunton laying siege to the Bury line. Again the Bury players put their bodies on the line but they were powerless to prevent Chris Francis, running a great angle, from scoring by the posts. It was tough on Bury having worked so hard in such appalling conditions.