Rotherham’s Argentinean centre Juan Pablo Socino, 25, made a triumphant return to the Clifton Lane club as the Titans opened their Championship campaign in style by beating Moseley by four tries to two in Doncaster.
Socino, who has rejoined Rotherham after two seasons with Nottingham and French club Dax, turned on a match- winning performance as he kicked 22 points and made several breaks.
His six penalties and two conversions were a major factor in Rotherham being able to claim a maximum of five points: a significant achievement for a new side in which 11 players were making their league debuts.
“ It seems like yesterday when I left Rotherham. It’s great to be back and we produced a good team performance,” said Socino.
“ I made a few breaks but I was frustrated not to score. We are a young team which will get better. We have depth and I thought there were some outstanding individual performances. Our hooker Tom Cruse did really well and he is a good player.”
Rotherham’s handling was impressive as was the speed and attitude in attack. The policy of keeping the ball alive and producing it quickly regularly created space, and while two clear chances were missed, four tries in the first league game of the season is to be applauded.
Scores by winger Jamie Broadley, ex-Sheffield Tigers, and two tries from Cruse and one from replacement No 8 Laurence Pearce punished Moseley who recovered somewhat in the second half to cut Rotherham’s lead to 24-17.
The Titans conceded two tries on 69 and 90 minutes by centre Simon Hunt and winger Matt Williams who ran 80 metres to touch down.
The one unhappy aspect of Rotherham’s win was a bad shoulder injury suffered by Irish full back Sean Scanlon late in the first half.
Reflecting on his side’s sparkling display, coach Lee Blackett was delighted:
“ It’s very positive to come away with five points from your first league game.
“Our attack went quite well but there were a couple of opportunities which we did not finish.
“Our defence was good. We had two lapses, but after we gave away too many penalties in the first half we conceded fewer in the second.”
n Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Roberts, Socino, Keating, Murphy, Mulchrone, Gadd, Cruse, Quigley, Maddison, Sanderson, Williamson, Birch, To’oala. Replacements: Preece, Sowrey, Tampin, Thomas, Pearce, White, Gill.
Tries: Broadley, Cruse 2, Pearce; conversions: Socino 2; penalties: Socino 6.
Referee: Ian Tempest.