Pain in the rain as win thrown away

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Rotherham’s defeat in their opening match of the new season in the Championship by the league’s newcomers means there will have to be a big improvement in form and discipline if another loss is to be avoided in the Titans’ first home match against Yorkshire rivals Leeds Carnegie at Clifton Lane this Sunday.

Rotherham’s defeat in their opening match of the new season in the Championship by the league’s newcomers means there will have to be a big improvement in form and discipline if another loss is to be avoided in the Titans’ first home match against Yorkshire rivals Leeds Carnegie at Clifton Lane this Sunday.

Although Rotherham lost narrowly and the forwards performed forcefully enough to earn a losing bonus point at the Athletic Ground, chances of an away win were thrown away by two players receiving yellow cards which reduced the Titans to 14 men for 10 minutes on separate occasions.

First to go was Tongan No 8 Semis Taulava who was sin-binned just before the interval, and then in the second half, skipper and flanker Sean Dougall was also shown a yellow card on 57 minutes.

With nine recruits in the starting line-up, it’s naturally going to take time for the new side to gel, but Rotherham can be satisfied that the line-out worked efficiently and the pack mauled effectively in pouring rain which made playing conditions horrible.

The Titans led 8-6 at the break after a thrilling move which sent in full-back Cliffie Hodgson on 28 minutes and a penalty from Scottish fly-half Garry Law.

Law’s promising debut grew stronger when he dropped a goal on 51 minutes, increasing Rotherham’s lead to 11-6.

But Rotherham lost their way badly following Dougall’s yellow card. In his absence, Scottish scored a decisive try by winger Oliver Grove. With his score being converted, Rotherham were trailing by 13-11.

A victory for the Championship’s new boys was confirmed on 71 minutes as fly-half James Brown struck his third penalty.

Titans coach Andre Bester could not conceal his disappointment at the way Rotherham played, but said: “The conditions played into London Scottish hands and their scrum is the best I’ve seen at this level. They could not have played any better.”

According to Titans forwards coach Ben Wade, Rotherham have the right qualities to succeed: “The lads have great passion and the enthusiasm is terrific. We’ve learnt a lot from this game.”

Titans: Hodgson, Monahan, Godfrey, Nonu, Homan, Law, Rhodes, Kilbane, Baines, Cahill, Patrick, Griffiths, Copeland, Dougall, Taulava.

Scorers: Try: Hodgson; Penalty:Law; Drop-goal: Law.

London Scottish: Bordiss, Grove, MacDougall, Trueman, Howells, James Brown, Heeks, Clarke, Standfield, Thiede, Pape, Josh Brown, Oliver Brown, Andrews, Kellard.

Scorers: Try: Grove; Conversion: James Brown; Penalties: J Brown 3.