RUGBY UNION: Titans land first win under Codling

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Moseley 16

Rotherham Titans 20

Rotherham’s performance in attack and defence delighted new coach Alex Codling who left Birmingham with a much needed win in his first Championship game in charge.

But Titans had to absorb pressure for long periods, not least in 11 minutes of injury time, to achieve their fifth league victory which owed much to outstanding defence by their forwards whose resolve was exemplary.

After scoring three excellent tries, two by winger Peter Homan and one from full back Fergus Mulchrone, Rotherham led 20-9 and considering the amount of ball they enjoyed should have added a fourth.

However, Moseley fought back strongly and scored a converted try on 74 minutes, so Titans were only just in front at 20-16.

In what seemed to be an endless period of added time, Rotherham’s 22 and their line were battered relentlessly by Moseley’s forwards who would surely have broken through for a winning score against several other Championship teams.

Rotherham’s defence was superb as were the individual performances of No 8 Rory Pitman and flankers Carl Kirwan and Latu Makaafi.

They were not alone: locks Dan Sanderson and Toby Freeman also stood out in a collective effort that made a big impression on Codling.

“I am thrilled,” he admitted. “We had a few nervous moments at the end, but we worked extremely hard, and defensively and offensively, we kept up the pressure.

“Moseley is a tough place to come to and we showed that we can play with ambition and power. We scored three great tries and our back row was outstanding.”

Codling said a couple of new signings may be imminent but he is keen to bring in the right players “rather than rush into anything.” .

His next challenge could not be more demanding, making sure that Rotherham compete against Munster A, the holders of the British and Irish Cup who travel to Clifton Lane on Saturday.

Codling assured fans he will select a competitive side, and after wins against Aberavon and Plymouth in previous ties, the club are keen to continue their success.

In fact, the Titans next two clashes are both against Munster in the B&I, as Rotherham fly to Ireland for the return game a week on Friday. Their next Championship match is at Bedford on Boxing Day.

Rotherham Titans: F Mulchrone, Homan, Law, Nonu, Sheridan, McKinney, C Mulchrone, Gadd, Stagg, Davies, Freeman, Sanderson, Makaafi, Kirwan, Pitman. Reps: Hannan, Kilbane, Denman, Dacres, Rieder, Gill, Styles.

Tries: Homan 2, F.Mulchrone.Conversion: Law.

Penalty: Law.

Referee: Steve Lee.