Dominating Titans stroll to impressive win as Socino shines

Rotherham Titans Juan Pablo Socino

Rotherham Titans Juan Pablo Socino

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An outstanding second half performance by Rotherham in which they scored four tries enabled the Titans to regain second place in the Championship.

Watched by a crowd of more than 2,000 at Clifton Lane, Rotherham played some superb, attacking rugby after the interval, scoring tries on 43,50,58 and then in the fifth minute of injury time when the referee awarded the Titans a penalty try which gained them a bonus point.

After a close first half in which Rotherham scored three penalties thanks to the boot of centre Juan Pablo Socino,the Titans increased the pace and looked a genuine class act as Bedford failed to compete.

Rotherham dominated possession and territory and made full use of their power and speed. The first try by winger Curtis Wilson was created following a dangerous break by fly half Joel Hodgson who is loan from Premiership club Newcastle Falcons. Wilson’s try was an excellent start to the second half and only seven minutes later, Hodgson himself scored as he found space to shoot through a gap in Bedford’s defence.

And with Socino adding his second conversion, Rotherham now led 23-6 and were well on top.

Quick handling and the ability to seize chances produced the third try, this time by Irish winger Michael Keating whose score was set up by Hodgson and replacement scrum half Dan White.

Rotherham’s pack, in which Barney Maddison and Jack Preece stood out, controlled the ball sensibly and when Bedford occasionally won possession, the forwards’ tackling was so sharp that Bedford struggled to make any progress in the Rotherham half.

Having scored three tries and armed with a lead of 28-6, Rotherham’s priority was now to add the fifth point by scoring a fourth try.

Breaks down the touchline by Wilson almost produced the desired result and later further pressure could not turn promising positions into points.

As the game entered injury time, Rotherham were awarded a penalty and they chose to take the scrum.

Following a powerful drive to the Bedford line which smashed the opposition pack, Rotherham were awarded penalty try which meant that the Titans gained the maximum five points and significantly climbed up the Championship table to recapture second place.

So Rotherham will go into 2014 well placed to continue their campaign to reach the promotion play-offs and full of confidence as coach Lee Blackett begins to prepare his squad for the next league game at Clifton Lane, a week on Saturday against Cornish Pirates.

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