Inspired by an outstanding goal kicking display by fly half Will Robinson on his Titans debut, Rotherham are 99.9 per cent certain of retaining their Championship status for next season after this vital 22-12 win over Nottingham at Clifton Lane.
With only three games remaining against Jersey, London Scottish and Ealing Trailfinders, Rotherham took a massive leap towards safety and are now on 37 points- 13 more than bottom of the table Moseley and 10 points above Ealing in 11th place.
It would be a miracle beyond belief if Moseley were to avoid relegation, and now that Rotherham are almost guaranteed Championship rugby for the 2016-17 season, coach Justin Burnell can plan ahead. He must now decide which players to keep, whom to recruit and work out how much money he has to play with and how big his squad will be.
One player he would dearly like to sign is Robinson who is on loan from London Welsh. The 23 year old rose magnificently to the demands that such an important game placed on him.
His 17 points-five penalties and a conversion of centre Will Owen’s try-put Rotherham in a dominating position in a must-win match that was probably closer than the final score suggested.
In a swirling wind, Robinson put over penalties on 16, 25, 46, 79 and 80 minutes to punish Nottingham’s errors. His match winning display was more than matched by a tremendous team effort in which forwards Jack Preece and George Oram stood out.
Burnell, delighted with the outcome, was nevertheless critical of some aspects: “When you think of the possession we had in the first half, we should have had more points.
“But we gave away three turnovers, one of which led to their first try. Robinson wasn’t bad, was he? It just shows you have to have a goal kicker and he did well in that wind.
“I also thought that Preece was fantastic. He came on after only seven minutes and we didn’t lose a line out when Jack was throwing in.
“We are in a much better place now, 13 points clear, and Moseley have got to win their last three games with bonus points.”
Burnell’s next task to try to finish the season on a high and is keen to return from Jersey, this Saturday’s opponents, with some points and then to win at home against London Scottish next month and to end the Championship campaign at Ealing in four weeks with a convincing win.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, J.Davies, Owen, Hayes, Robinson, Carter, Williams, C.Maddison, Tampin, Holmes, Oram, B.Maddison, Birch, Argyle.
Replacements: Preece, Cromie, Thiede, Ryan, Barker, A.Davies, Goodwin.
Scorers: Try: Owen. Conversion: Robinson. Penalties: Robinson 5.
Referee: Andrew Jackson.