Rugby Union: Rotherham Titans 20 Llanelli 15

Rotherham's Lloyd Hayes bursts through against Llanelli
Rotherham's Lloyd Hayes bursts through against Llanelli
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Second in the Championship and top of Pool 3 in the British and Irish Cup, Rotherham Titans are one of the form teams in the country and a side to be feared, but coach Lee Blackett fired a warning.

Second in the Championship and top of Pool 3 in the British and Irish Cup, Rotherham Titans are one of the form teams in the country and a side to be feared, but coach Lee Blackett fired a warning.

“We must keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away,” he said.

Blackett’s side, who have won three games out of four in the Cup, have given themselves an excellent chance of reaching the last eight.

With two games remaining next month against Connacht and Bedford, Rotherham are in pole position to qualify for the knock out stages which they have not managed before in the competition.

In a close and tough battle at Clifton Lane against highly competitive Welsh opponents, tries in each half by prop Colin Quigley and winger Curtis Wilson, plus 10 points by goal kicker Lloyd Hayes, enabled Rotherham to beat Llanelli on consecutive weekends.

The Rotherham effort in both ties against Llanelli in the British and Irish Cup was sincerely applauded by the Welsh team’s coach and former Wales international, Anthony Buchanan. He said: “Rotherham play for each other and have a good team spirit. In both games, they did not give up, kept coming back at us and the second try turned the game.”

Buchanan’s reference to Wilson’s try was spot on; his score on 55 minutes came just at the right time because Llanelli had fought back strongly to cut Rotherham’s lead to only 13-12.

However once Hayes, usually a centre but playing at fly half because of injuries to Dallan Murphy and Garry Law, had put over his second conversion to make it 20-12, Rotherham’s confidence grew.

The Welsh managed to score a late penalty and while this slashed the Titans advantage to just 20-15 Rotherham’s top class defending made certain that they held on to their narrow lead and with it the probability of a place in the quarter-finals if another win can be secured in the New Year.

Titans: Keating, Broadley, Gill, Roberts, Wilson, White, Hayes, Hislop, Sowrey, Quigley, Maddison, Thomas, Rieder, Birch, To’oala. Replacements: Cruse, Williams, Tampin, Freeman, Preece, Mulchrone, Rath.

Scorers: Tries: Quigley, Wilson. Conversions: Hayes 2. Penalties: Hayes 2.

Referee: Lloyd Linton.