Rugby Union: Titans fail to cash in on possession

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Jersey 13

Rotherham Titans 10

Rotherham scrum half Charlie Mulchrone’s superb late try late failed to save Rotherham Titans from defeat against Jersey in their first visit to the Channel Islands.

The try was converted by fly half Garry Law, whose points slashed Jersey’s lead to only 13-10 with at least 10 minutes left, but Rotherham failed to make the most of their superior possession.

Rotherham’s forwards won more than enough ball to have added another try which would have seized a late win, but a combination of factors stopped them breaking through.

Scoring chances were not taken, Jersey’s pack defended their line solidly, and the referee seemed not to see several Jersey infringements during a tense climax.

At the end of a highly competitive game against the side second from bottom of the Championship, Rotherham had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point, which keeps them seventh on 28 points.

“I’m devastated. In the last 20 minutes, we coughed up three or four scoring opportunities in what was always going to be a tight match,” explained Titans’ coach Alex Codling.

“We were on top towards the end. I thought our scrum was dominant and our props Marshall Gadd and Gareth Denman were tremendous.The pack worked really hard, but Jersey were organised, competitive and very aggressive at the break-down.”

In difficult playing conditions the score was 3-3 at the interval, but Jersey took a 10-point lead just after the hour.

With home try scorer, No 8 Guy Thompson outstanding, Rotherham were finding it hard to gain the initiative.

However on 68 minutes, they struck impressively from a line out. Scrum half Mulchrone found space in the Jersey defence and dashed to the line to score a thrilling try converted by Law.

Rotherham had cut the gap to only three points and with their forwards well on top in the right areas of the field, a win now appeared probable.

Unfortunately, this control was not turned into match winning points and Jersey were reprieved.

The Titans’ next Championship match is at Clifton Lane a week on Saturday against Plymouth who are three points behind in eighth place.

Meanwhile, Codling is set to announce the names of those players he expects to re-sign for next season.

Rotherham Titans: F Mulchrone, Doneghan, Blackett, Nonu, Sheridan, Law, C Mulchrone, Gadd, Stagg, Denman, Thomas, Sanderson, Makaafi, Ellyatt, Rieder. Reps:McKinney, Kilbane, Davies, Pitman, Freeman, Gill, Hannan.

Scorers :Try:C.Mulchrone,Conversion:Law,Penalty: Law.