Titans pay the penalty

Pablo Juan Socino missed four kickable first-half penalties
Pablo Juan Socino missed four kickable first-half penalties
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Rotherham were made to pay dearly for their failure to take several scoring opportunities in both halves in the Yorkshire derby at Headingley where for the first time in the Championship this season they did not earn any league points.

Rotherham, poor in the first half but much better and enterprising in the second, deserved to lose, but because they controlled much of the second period were unfortunate not to come away with a losing bonus point.

Titans leading points scorer, centre Juan Pablo Socino, missed four kickable penalties before half-time and then late in the second when Rotherham were on top, the Argentinean turned down the chance to kick at goal and opted to kick for touch and take the line-out.

But Socino was not alone to blame. Rotherham’s forwards, outplayed in the first half, created three clear scoring chances on the Leeds line after the break, but the opportunities on 46,65 and74 minutes were all thrown away by careless mistakes.

Rotherham’s defeat can also be attributed to solid defence by the Leeds pack who defended their line effectively as Rotherham tried to turn their control into points.

Whereas Socino missed 12 points with the boot, the Leeds goal kicker Alex Lozowski put over four penalties and the conversion of the try by winger David Doherty which gave Leeds a 16-3 lead.

Leeds were sharper and stronger in the scrum before half time, and Titans were conceding too may penalties.

They came back powerfully after the interval, and the award of a penalty try, thanks to excellent work by the pack, converted by Socino,put Rotherham back in the game at 19-10. But their failure to finish promising attacks allowed Leeds to survive.

Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Roberts, Socino, Wilson, Mulchrone, White, Gadd, Cruse, Quigley, Maddison, Sanderson, Rieder, Birch, To’oala. Replacements: Preece, Dias, Tampin, Freeman, Pearce, Gill, Broadley.

Scorers: Penalty try; conversion: Socino; penalty:Socino.