Second-half surge spurs Rotherham Titans to tight win over Otley

ROTHERHAM Titans turned around a half-time deficit to dig out a close Yorkshire derby win against Otley and keep up their unbeaten start to the season.
Scenes at the final whistle after Rotherham overcame Otley.Scenes at the final whistle after Rotherham overcame Otley.
Scenes at the final whistle after Rotherham overcame Otley.

Deservedly trailing 25-14 at half time, Titans scored three unanswered tries from Zak Poole and Jack Taylor – twice – to take back the initiative, eventually coming through 34-32.

It meant a winning start for the new coaching team of Gareth Lewis and Harvey Biljon, the former Jersey Reds man who is working at Clifton Lane in a short-term consultancy role.

“First of all how good were Otley?” said Biljon. “Fair play. They came here with a game plan they stuck to and you have commend them scoring the tries they did.

"On the flip side of that our players adapted very well. They took on the messages at half time and found a way to win.”

The visitors played the wet conditions at Clifton Lane better in the first half and led all the way through it with tries for Jacob Holmes, Sam Taylor and Rory Gaffney. Gavin Stead kicked their goals points.

The mis-firing Titans responded with tries from Luke Cole and Harry Dunne, both converted by Lloyd Hayes, who was making his 100th Rotherham appearance.

Although Rotherham mastered the basics better after the restart, pinning their visitors down at the Broom Road end and scoring three tries to help put them more than a score in front, a fourth try for Otley, scored and converted by Stead, made for a tense final few minutes.

Rotherham’s eighth straight win keeps them in touch with leaders Leeds Tykes in National Two North ahead of next week’s trip to Hull Ionians.

Added Biljon: "For a starting point, coming in, we have done well to win but there is a lot of work still to put in.”