Rotherham Titans coach stung by defeat to strugglers

By David Beddows | 28/01/2019

Rotherham Titans coach stung by defeat to strugglers
Joe Barker takes a pass in Saturday's setback against Loughborough.

HEAD coach Joe Barker admitted Rotherham Titans let the club down in their weekend defeat to bottom-of-the-table Loughborough.

A try hat-trick from full-back Tim Bitirim propelled the visitors to a deserved 29-23 victory, only their fifth of the season in National One.

Rotherham had led 23-17 in the closing stages at Clifton Lane on the back of a penalty try, a Harry Dunne touchdown and  11 points from the boot of Alex Dolly but lost their grip, conceding two tries in three minutes.

"We let ourselves down and we let the club down today. I know they're strong words but we've got to be better," said Barker.

"Certain individuals didn't get their jobs right. Yes, Loughborough were good and we knew they were good with the ball. We showed in sets that we could control them but then individuals switched off. It wasn't good enough.

"There was no sign of that (performance) during the week. We had a good chat on the Tuesday about small parts off the pitch that can make a difference on the pitch. We played better rugby than we have the last three weeks and we should have finished it."

Ironically, Rotherham's losing bonus point nudged them back up to fifth in the table but back-to-back defeats has left them 12 points shy of joint leaders Ampthill and Old Elthamians with ten games to go.

Titans head down to Thame in Oxfordshire on Saturday to take on Chinnor, who have the same number of points. Kick-off is 2pm.

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