ROTHERHAM Titans felt the full force of Championship leaders Newcastle Falcons at a wintry Kingston Park last night.
Greeted by a pre-match snow flurry at the league’s most northerly outpost, the Titans kept pace with their well-funded rivals for a competitive opening half-hour before the home side’s Premiership pedigree emerged.
Three penalties from fly-half Jimmy Gopperth were all they had to show after a start in which Rotherham’s pack fronted up, but the Falcons’ international class began to tell when Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson sniped his way round a ruck for the first try.
Lock Dan Sanderson’s sin-binning further hampered their efforts, and a 21-0 half-time deficit was assured when the resulting penalty was kicked to touch for Scott MacLeod to score from a rolling maul.
By the time Sanderson returned two more tries were on the board, with ex-Titans prop Jonny Golding driven over and then teenage wing Zach Kibirige racing 80 metres on the intercept. Blizzard conditions for the closing quarter did little to improve the spectacle, with Newcastle upping the pace against tired bodies before sub-zero temperatures reduced proceedings to a near standstill.
n TITANS: F Mulchrone, P Homan, L Blackett, G Law, E Sheridan, J McKinney (M Doneghan, 40), J Williams; S Cahill, D Baines, R Davies, T Freeman, D Sanderson, N Dacres, C Kirwan, A Rieder. Replacements: T Stagg, J Kilbane, G Denman, J Ellyatt, M Doneghan, J Gill, C Mulchrone.