Rotherham Titans 37 Moseley 27: Rotherham move up to fourth

Alistair Birch crashes over for the Titans
Alistair Birch crashes over for the Titans
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Rotherham’s fourth win in six Championship games moved them up the table to fourth, but they will have to play a lot better if Bedford are to be beaten at Goldington Road on Friday evening.

The Titans are still to gel this season and do not appear to be competing with the same pace and conviction as in the last two seasons, but it will take time for new coach Mark Jones to produce the style he wants.

But by winning their first bonus point of the new campaign, Rotherham, inspired by a top class display from Australian number eight Tim Cree, are moving in the right direction.

The game at Clifton Lane - won by the Titans by four tries to three - risked ridicule in the second half as bottom of the Championship Moseley were cut to 11 men having had four players sin binned on 64, 66,69 and 72 minutes.

Referee Dean Richards, worked overtime dishing out yellow cards - four against the Birmingham club and three against Rotherham, fly half Tom Barrett and forwards Robin Hislop and skipper Tom Holmes.

To add to the comedy, Rotherham were somewhat humiliated when Moseley scored an exciting third try with only 11 men on the field.

Following the conversion, Moseley were losing by only 30-27 with time left for them to claim a win despite being seriously under strength.

But Titans stayed calm, avoided further embarrassment and made certain of victory in the 80th minute when winger Ben Rath, who has hardly played in three seasons at Clifton Lane, dashed across for his second try in successive games.

“I’ve been tempted to stop playing, but I thought I would give it one more year and now I’ve scored two tries in two games,” said Rath whose previous club was Fylde near Blackpool.

“Last year I didn’t managed to play onece before Christmas, so I’m delighted. I’m loving it and credit has to go to the whole team and to full back Sean Scanlon, who gave me the final pass at Bristol and now against Moseley.

“We’re improving week in, week out and we’ll get better,” added Rath who should keep his place at Bedford.

As Moseley repeatedly gave penalties away - 18 all told - the Rotherham pack cashed in, and in addition to Cree’s try on 30 minutes and Rath’s at the end, flanker Ali Birch crashed over just before the interval and with the referee becoming increasingly annoyed at Moseley’s indiscipline, the Titans were awarded a penalty try on 70 minutes, shortly before the Birmingham visitors were astonishingly slashed to 11 players only.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Rath, Hayes, Owen, Keating, Barrett, Carter, Hislop, Harris, Thiede, Holmes, B.Maddison, Argyle, Birch, Cree. Replacements: C.Maddison, Cromie, Tampin, Oram, Preece, Davies, Jones.

Rotherham Tries: Cree, Birch, penalty, Rath.

Conversions: Barrett 4. Penalties: Hayes, Barrett 2.

Referee: Dean Richards.