Mixed emotions as Rotherham Titans grind out victory over Cambridge

By David Beddows | 30/09/2019

Mixed emotions as Rotherham Titans grind out victory over Cambridge
Anthony Maka goes over for Rotherham's first try against Cambridge. Picture: Dave Poucher

ROTHERHAM Titans embraced a hard-fought win but rued the bonus point that got away after coming through a difficult second half to beat Cambridge at Clifton Lane.

Dangerous in the first half, Titans opened up a 22-14 lead by the break on the back of tries from Anthony Maka, Dan Leake and Zak Poole plus two conversions and a penalty from early replacement Morgan Bunting.

Rotherham would have realistically expected to have gone on to claim a fourth try and a bonus point in the second half but hampered by a shaky lineout and some elementary errors, they spent most of it on the back foot and failed to score a point.

Some good defensive work saw them through to a 22-17 victory and their second win of the season in National One.

“The two halves were very different,” said director of rugby Martin Jenkinson. “I thought we played some outstanding stuff in the first half and once or twice let ourselves down. “Harry Whitfield was devastating early on but with that amount of effort he was off after 30 minutes.

“It never crossed our minds that we’d be nilled in the second half and it all hinged on a couple of times we got ourselves in good positions and the lineout broke down.

Connor Dever looks to offload in Saturdays' victory.

“The defensive effort was herculean, it was massive, but there was too much of it because when we got ourselves into position, we gave the ball away too cheaply..

“The important thing is that we’ve won both our matches at home but we need to be getting maximum points here. It was generally pleasing, just tinged with letting ourselves down in not getting that fourth try and the fifth point.”

Sam Hollingsworth went off with an ankle injury after 25 minutes and the fly-half's fitness will be monitored in the run-up to Saturday’s match away to Birmingham Moseley. The Midlands side, much improved this term, moved third at the weekend by inflicting a first defeat of the season on Cinderford.

There will be a full look at the Moseley game, plus more from Clifton Lane, in Friday’s Advertiser.

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