Match report: Bedford Blues 24 Rotherham Titans 32

Laurence Pearce faces a fortnight on the sidelines due to a knee injury.
Laurence Pearce faces a fortnight on the sidelines due to a knee injury.
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Rotherham completed their successful campaign in the British and Irish Cup by recording their first victory for seven years at Goldington Road.

With an important Championship game to come at Bedford towards the end of March, this win struck an important psychological blow for Rotherham who showed they could not only play confidently against a traditional enemy, but also that they could triumph at a venue where it has been a struggle until now.

Indeed, this win, their fifth in six games in the B and I Cup, was the third time so far this season they have conquered Bedford..twice in the cup and once in the league.

Having reached the quarter finals of cup by finishing top of Pool 3 with 23 points, Rotherham must wait a week until they find out who their next opponents will be in the first weekend of April.

When the draw is made a week today, one point is clear: Rotherham will be away from home and it is a strong possibility that they could be drawn against Leeds Carnegie. However, officials at Clifton Lane have calculated that other opposition could be provided by Cornish Pirates,Leinster or Bristol.

Having masterminded the club’s first win at Bedford since the 2006-07 season, the next task facing coach Lee Blackett is to prepare his squad for Saturday’s Championship clash in Jersey.

Unfortunately, one of the team’s major forwards, Laurence Pearce, won’t be playing: he injured a knee in the first half against Bedford and is likely to be out of action for at least two weeks. He will be assessed by Rotherham’s medical team today.

The Titans, winning their eighth consecutive match, scored four excellent tries by Pearce, fly half Dallan Murphy, winger James Broadley and replacement scrum half Charlie Mulchrone.

Rotherham did not play to their usual high standards throughout, and Blackett was annoyed that they conceded four tries.

Nevertheless, in an entertaining game, Rotherham controlled much of the ball and territory, and in an exciting climax, victory was secured by the accurate goal kicking of centre Juan Pablo Socino.

His successful penalties on 73 and 80 minutes ensured that Rotherham’s confident winning sequence continued; a triumph which must be repeated in Jersey where the Titans need to overcome last season’s narrow defeat.

* Titans: Keating, Broadley, Hayes, Socino, Wilson, Murphy, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Williamson, Sanderson, Pearce, Birch, To’oala.

* Scorers: Tries: Pearce, Murphy, Broadley, Mulchrone.

* Conversions: Socino 3

* Penalties: Socino 2