Titans end up bottom after cup campaign

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Birmingham Solihull 19

Rotherham Titans 5

ROTHERHAM ended their British & Irish Cup campaign without a win after a scrappy dead rubber at Damson Park.

Andre Bester’s men were beaten three tries to one and finished bottom of Pool D with just a home draw against Ayr to show for their efforts in the competition.

They are now be free to turn their attention to causing a few upsets in the Championship promotion play-offs which start at home to Bedford on Saturday week.

Indeed it seemed as if their minds were already on that rather than the job in hand as a makeshift line-up lacked the cohesion and intensity in difficult conditions in Solihull.

They went behind to an early try from former Doncaster prop Ngalu Tau, who found room down the short-side to plunge over the line in the fifth minute.

Titans responded positively and might have been level had Matty James been able to convert Mark George’s first try for the club.

The visitors were pinned on the home line when midway through the period former Bee George was driven over by David McGregor from short range.

But the game was already out of reach three minutes later when the Rotherham midfield was pinned by Bees’ dummy runners and allowed Simon Hunt to scythe through unscathed from 25m. Mark Woodrow added the second of his two conversions.

Rotherham might have got back into it had the unmarked Richard Skelding not allowed James’ cross-field kick to bounce and skid off the greasy surface early in the second period.

Ian Davey secured the game for Russell Earnshaw’s side with a quarter of an hour to go and Roth couldn’t even claim a consolation as late on Simeon James dropped the ball when trying to touch-down one-handed over the line.

SCORERS: Bees: Tries - Tau, Hunt, Davey; Cons - Woodrow (2)

Rotherham: Try - George

BEES: Davey; Hunt (Grove 59), Lawson, Barkley, Culpin (Tanumi 68); Woodrow, Williams (Brake 66); Sperandio, Thomas, Tau (Reid 59), Taulava (McMillan 78), Griffiths, Noonan, Bentall (Ball 55), Hopley (Connolly 40).

ROTHERHAM: Du Randt; Sourbe, James S, McMahon, Welding; James M, Hunt; Aikman, McGregor (White 40), George, Burrows, McGowan, Kettle, Doneghan, Wade. Replacements: Kilbane, Harris, Baines, Dougall, Bradley Swatkins.