London Irish Wild Geese 45, Taunton 38
This weekend the Wild Geese took on the difficult task of inflicting the second defeat for 2nd place Taunton Titans.
The Geese started the match with some of the best rugby played by the Geese this season putting themselves 21-0 up after only 8 minutes gone, thanks to two tries from fullback George Owen and one from one of two Geese debutants right wing Chris Hitchcock the other being substitute hooker Conor Clancy.
Having had a shaky start, Taunton fought back to score a hard driven first try and another from a bit of overly ambitious passing by the Geese. However, the Geese nullified their efforts with two more tries from a strong Geese maul overpowering the weakened Taunton pack, having had their openside sin binned for numerous infringements allowing the injury returning tight-head, Charlie Connor, to touch down for the bonus point try. The second came from a clever snipe from scrumhalf Tom Barker, leaving him an easy run under the posts to score the fifth Geese try.
Taunton again used their restored pack to drive over the line against the seven-man Geese pack which had blindside flanker Archie MacKay binned for a dangerous clear-out at a ruck only 5 minutes before, the Titans were awarded a penalty try from the drive making the score 35-21. However, Taunton received a major setback as their pack leader No.8 Sam Prior was binned for throwing punches. This allowed the Geese to push over for their sixth try scored by openside flanker Tyler Bush ending the half with the score at 40-21.
The second half saw Taunton come out fighting, commanding a lot more possession and territory than they had in the first which allowed them to draw first blood with the first try of the second half. The Geese responded straight from the kick off with a well-timed chase by left wing Reon Joseph giving him an easy run in for the seventh Geese try. A second attempt at a chase try resulted in Joseph being tackled without the ball forcing the ref to bin another Taunton player making the yellow card count at Geese 1-3 Taunton.
With the Geese in a commanding position on the score board, the visitors began an all-out assault to try and get something from the game. Taunton having plied on the pressure with hooker Jack Cohen and fullback George Owen both being binned at different stages allowed the visitors to score two more tries to make the score 45-38 leaving the match to go down to the wire. However, the drama didn’t stop, as Geese No. 8 Harry Rowland was red carded for another infringement and another yellow for Taunton for a tip tackle on Hitchcock.
The game ended 45-38 in favour of the Geese.