Rotherham Titans mark centenary with a sixth straight win
Titans produced their best rugby of the year in the first half to lead 21-5 and even though last year’s National Two North runners-up rallied in the second half, a penalty try at the death sealed a fourth try and a 34-19 win.
The lovely weather added to the celebratory atmosphere, with a good sized crowd watching their team play in replica shirts similar to the ones worn at the very first game back in October 1923.
Matt Challinor drove his way over and then good hands down the line saw Tomasi Tanumi go in at the corner for the second try in the opening six minutes to set Rotherham on their way.
With the home pack punching holes in the Fylde rearguard at will, the only surprise was that it took until the half-hour mark for skipper Zak Poole to claim the third try. Lloyd Hayes converted all three.
Fylde scored a try off their first visit to the home 22 right at the end of the half through Adam Lanigan and then made life difficult for Rotherham in the second half.
Two converted scores, against two penalties from the accurate Hayes, pulled them to within eight points heading into the final stages.
Titans drew breath for one last push that forced a penalty try and settled the nerves.
Head coach Gary Pearce said: “We were on fire in the first half, so dominant, so powerful, and defensively we did really well.
"Fylde are a good side and the second half was never going to be the same as the first. We let ourselves down a bit because we weren’t clinical enough but we stuck in there, we fought and we got there in the end with that bonus point try.
“We played to the whistle, which is great.”
The players posed with staff and supporters, wearing centenary blazers, at the clubhouse end at the final whistle to mark the occasion.
Rotherham remain second in the table behind Leeds Tykes ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Abbeydale to take on Sheffield RUFC.