Rugby chief's praise as Rotherham Titans card vital win in relegation fight

By David Beddows | 18/01/2020

Rugby chief's praise as Rotherham Titans card vital win in relegation fight
Try! Dan Preston-Routledge stretches over for Rotherham Titans' opening try against Birmingham Moseley.

ROTHERHAM Titans came in for praise after injecting new life into their National One relegation fight with a precious win over close rivals Birmingham Moseley.

Trailing three times in a game they dare not lose, Titans fought back to clinch a 22-20 victory thanks to a late penalty from distance by Sam Hollingsworth.

Although a four-try bonus point escaped Rotherham while Moseley collected a point for their efforts, the gap between the two has been trimmed to eight points with 11 matches still to play.

Rotherham’s director of rugby Martin Jenkinson said: “We say all the time that it is all about the performance. Things were changed three weeks ago and in the matches since against Plymouth and Cambridge and into today, each week has been an improvement.

“People forget there are so many single-score games in this league and you have to get on the right side of them. Last week we weren’t, this week we were and it was against a good Birmingham side who had a big win against Cinderford last Saturday.

Lewis Wison feeds Jack Bergmanas in the sequence that led to Titans' first score. 

“We went behind three times and if that had been before Christmas at that stage we would probably have collapsed. The boys showed the strength of character to dig in, trust the process and come back and win.”

Enjoying most possession and territory, Titans led 14-10 at the break, second row Dan Preston-Routledge and skipper Zak Poole touching down after wing Matt Dight won an early kick and chase to give the visitors the lead. Cliffie Hodgson slotted the conversion and a penalty.

As in the first half, Moseley struck first in the second period with a try, claimed by Aquile Smith to move a point ahead. Hodgson’s conversion attempt hit the upright.

Jamie Cooke makes a break. Pictures by STEVE METTAM

Titans’ resilience in the second half of matches has been called into question several times this season but this time they had the answers.

Lewis Wilson’s try put them back in front at 19-15 and when Hollingsworth’s conversion attempt also came back off the post and then Hodgson finished off a catch and drive at the other end, the omens didn’t look good.

Importantly, Hodgson couldn’t convert his own score, leaving Titans trailing 20-19 and opening the way for Hollingsworth’s match-clincher to the delight and relief of the Clifton Lane crowd.

Added Jenkinson: “We are improving. Seriously, we can go anywhere in this league and on our day get a result and while that is the situation there is more than hope for us.”

Titans are away to Darlington next Saturday.

More in next week's Advertiser.

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