Best form of season puts Titans back into chase

Jack Preece puts the ball down to score the Titans second try of the game
Jack Preece puts the ball down to score the Titans second try of the game
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Rotherham gave their best performance of the season to beat Yorkshire Carnegie 40-15 at Clifton Lane has revived their chances of finishing in the Championship top four.

This remarkable win, based on passion, discipline and relentless aggression, by six tries to three, earned Titans a maximum of five points.

With six Championship games remaining, Titans have 39 points-only two behind Nottingham in fourth place.

So Rotherham, who had gone three league games without a win, have recovered strongly.

The skill and commitment for the entire 80 minutes that outplayed and outthought the Headingley side must now be reproduced against Cornish Pirates, Bristol,Moseley,Doncaster,Nottingham and London Scottish.

but Rotherham’s confidence has returned, and a place in the promotion play offs alongside Worcester, Bristol and London Scottish is within their grasp.

Fly half James McKinney dictated the game with his astute kicking enabling Rotherham to play in Carnegie territory.

Rotherham led 13-5 at the interval following intelligent tries by winger Michael Keating and flanker Jack Preece.

The control gained by the forwards extended to the second period with four more tries on 54, 65, 76 and 80 minutes.

Preece added his second, McKinney’s clever kick ahead set up winger Curtis Wilson for a thrilling fourth try, and then full back Sean Scanlon broke through twice.

“I’ve never been more proud as head coach in two and a half years,” explained Lee Blackett.

“The boys went out and implemented the game plan and all credit to them. Our first half performance into the wind won us the match.

“We’ve put ourselves into a good position to finish in the top four and it is now in our hands.”

Rotherham restricted Carnegie to only three tries-all scored by ex-Titans’ forward Ryan Burrows whose hat-trick couldn’t prevent his former club recording a second Championship victory this season against the Headingley team.

Forwards Ben Morris, Sean Robinson, Alex Rieder and Barney Maddison contributed massively to an outstanding effort by Rotherham’s pack which created tries for flanker Preece on 25 and 54 minutes.

“It’s good to be winning again,” he said. “I get the glory for two tries, but credit must be given to the other forwards.

“We stuck to the game plan, McKinney had a cracking match with the boot and we got into their faces to stop their momentum. Now,a top four place is up for grabs.”

Rotherham: Scanlon, Keating, Davies, Harris, Wilson, McKinney, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Maddison, Robinson, Rieder, Preece, Morris. Replacements: Sowrey, Williams, Thiede, Holmes, Birch, Barrett, Cooke.

Scorers - tries: Preece 2, Scanlon 2, Keating, Wilson. Conversions: McKinney, Barrett. Penalties: McKinney 2.

Referee: Simon Harding.