Two tries by Rotherham Titans’ Australian No 8 Tim Cree set up an outstanding Championship win at The Bay as they overcame the in-form hosts in atrocious conditions.
Cree Cree was driven over twice on 26 minutes and then in the 64th as he and his colleagues in the forwards mastered a muddy pitch, wet ball, rain and a swirling wind.
Rotherham’s win - their sixth in nine league matches - was one of their best this season, and bearing in mind they were thrashed in the last away game at Bedford, this performance says much about their character.
In addition to Cree’s efforts, Rotherham fly half Ross Jones also put in a solid display as he kicked a penalty and two conversions.
The entire Rotherham pack, which included the former Nottingham star Tom Calladine, excelled against a team that had won their last three Championship games.
The first try in the opening half followed a successful Rotherham line out, and once the ball had been won, the forwards drove to the Nottingham posts.
Cree grabbed the score and with Jones adding the conversion, the Titans led 10-3; but as the second half unfolded, Nottingham fought back on 53 minutes as prop Conor Carey a try reducing the lead to 10-8.
Rotherham’s forwards, though, continued to use the ball sensibly and defended well too, and after little more than an hour gone, they broke through for the crucial try.
The Titans earned a penalty which they exploited to the full.The line out was won and then the pack advanced dangerously towards the Nottingham posts.
As before, Cree was on the end of a rolling maul which smashed the Nottingham defence; his second try increased the lead to 15-8 and with Jones adding the extra two points, the Titans were well placed to clinch a remarkable win.
Rotherham were put under severe pressure later in the second half, but managed to survive not least because they forced Nottingham into errors which stopped their momentum.
Titans restricted the power of Nottingham’s number eight Paul Grant who has scored 10 tries in the Championship, but not against Rotherham who gave Grant no room at all to break free.
“ We had the right mentality travelling here and we did not want to repeat the Bedford result,” said Cree.
“We are really happy with our performance.We did well in the scrum and the tries showed how much work we have done on the rolling maul.
“ I’m loving it at Rotherham and relish the challenge in playing in conditions which I am not used to,” added Cree who was playing in Canberra before joining Rotherham.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Rath, Hayes, Barker, Keating, Ross, Carter, Cromie, Preece, Thiede, Holmes, B.Maddison, Argyle, Calladine, Cree. Replacements: C.Maddison, Hislop, Tampin, Oram, Gilmour, A.Davies, Goodwin.
Tries: Cree 2. Conversions: Jones 2.Penalty: Jones.
Referee: John Meredith.