Rotherham Titans: Blackett’s men flex their play-off muscles

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Rotherham boosted their chances of a place in the promotion play-offs by regaining fourth place in the Championship with an outstanding 32-26 win in Birmingham, writes Guy Williams.

As a result of beating Moseley, Rotherham earned a maximum of five points and are now three clear of rivals Nottingham who play Doncaster today at Castle Park.

Showing no adverse reaction to Thursday’s shock announcement that Titans’ coach Lee Blackett would be leaving at the end of the season to join Premiership club Wasps, Rotherham set up their victory with a powerful first half performance in a close and exciting contest.

After conceding an early try, Rotherham fought back to score by flanker Jack Preece on 10 minutes, and then as the pack saw more possession, forward Sean Robinson was driven over for a second try.

But in a strong finish to the opening 40 minutes, scrum half Dan White scored two tries in succession.

With fly half James McKinney adding three conversions, Rotherham led 26-14 at the interval and their lead then stretched to 29-14 as McKinney struck the first of his two second half penalties.

But Moseley, second from bottom in the Championship, fought hard and added two more tries in a tense battle at Billesley Common.

Just after the hour hooker Adam Caves scored to cut Rotherham’s lead to just 29-26, but almost immediately McKinney struck back to increase the Titans’ advantage to 32-26.

The Titans, who conceded four tries but also claimed four themselves, survived several periods of pressure to record their 10th victory in 19 league games.

But when Moseley were penalised for an infringement as they attacked towards the posts, the home club’s chances of securing anything from the contest evaporated.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Hayes, Davies, Wilson, McKinney, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Maddison, Robinson,Rieder, Preece, Ryan. Replacements: Dunn, Williams, Thiede, Morris, Birch, Barrett, Broadley.

Scorers: Tries: Preece, Robinson, White 2. Conversions: McKinney 3.Penalties: McKinney 2.

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