Titans fall to local rivals

TITANS coach Justin Burnell says the club's priority will be to bounce straight back to winning ways after Saturday's derby disappointment at Doncaster.

The Clifton Lane men had high hopes of making it two straight wins in the IPA Championship only to go down 25-13 at Castle Park after a poor second half.

Burnell's frustrations were compounded by a failure to take key chances as Doncaster carded three tries to their one.

In a game that mirrored the previous week's victory over London Welsh, Titans played well in the first half before wilting in the second under opposition pressure - the difference this time being that, unlike the Welsh victory, they couldn't find a surge at the end.

They led 6-0 early on thanks to two Will Robinson penalties and should have stretched their lead when good work from the combining forwards and backs took them to within sight of the home line, only to give away a penalty.

Had they made the most of that it could have been a different story but Knights came back strongly as Dougie Flockhart kicked a penalty and then, as the visitors lost their compusure, full-back Paul Jarvis raced 50 metres through flaky cover before being hauled down just short with Michael Heaney gathering the recycled ball and crashing over. Flockhart converted and then added a second penalty in the final play of the half to make it 13-6.

Titans needed a good start to the second half but didn't get it. A brief flurry brought no rewards and it was an excellent home try on the hour that killed the game: Declan Cusack started a flowing move, the ball was shot across the park and wing Lewis Tyson scored with ease.

The spark Rotherham wanted came when Will Owen finished off a well-worked try, Robinson adding an excellent conversion, but they failed to build on it and when ex-Titan Lloyd Hayes scored after a break through midfield, Flockhart adding the extras, it was all over.

Titans now prepare to  face London Scottish at Clifton Lane on Saturday.

Said Burnell: "They took their chances and we didn't, simple as that. We have to regroup now and come back strongly next week."