Titans switch off and almost let it slip again

Rotherham Titans V Moseley   Titan's  Daniel Baines breaks away to score a try ' See Story  ????????  Picture by Chris Lawton'14th Jan 2012
Rotherham Titans V Moseley Titan's Daniel Baines breaks away to score a try ' See Story ???????? Picture by Chris Lawton'14th Jan 2012
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Rotherham Titans 40

Moseley 31

Rotherham’s players are taking a much-needed break for a week before the Championship campaign resumes in a fortnight against league leaders and promotion favourites Bristol at the Memorial Stadium.

The Titans must recharge their batteries and return to Clifton Lane fully refreshed mentally and physically, so they can complete successfully the first part of the Championship programme.

After the Bristol game, Rotherham are at home to Cornish Pirates early next month and then also in February, there is the South Yorkshire derby against Doncaster at Castle Park followed by the home game against London Scottish.

Then, Rotherham will be thrown into the promotion play-offs, and who they play depends on where they finish in the top eight of the league.

It’s no use speculating now who their opponents will be because there are three league games remaining, but it is worth pointing out that after the win against Moseley, Rotherham have moved into fifth place on 52 points with a record of 10 wins from 18 Championship matches.

After consecutive defeats, Rotherham’s victory, too close for comfort, was more than necessary and with former Titans, Kevin Maggs and Craig West now in charge of Moseley, this success was doubly satisfying for Andre Bester’s team.

But with the play-offs coming up, Rotherham cannot afford to relax as they have done against London Welsh and now Moseley.

Just as against the Welsh, they lost concentration and for the second home game running, Rotherham carelessly allowed a promising lead to disappear...almost fatally.

A fine first half in which they scored five tries by winger Elliot Brierley and forwards Sam Dickinson, hooker Dan Baines, touching down twice, and prop Shane Cahill, produced a Rotherham lead of 33-17 meaning the Titans were well in control.

However, the pack switched off and, as Moseley splendidly fought back to slash the gap to only two points at 33-31 with more than half an hour to go, another Rotherham defeat seemed likely.

Conceding converted tries on 48 and 55 minutes, Rotherham could not cope with Moseley’s speed and quick handling.

Rotherham’s supporters were not slow to express their anger and frustration, but just in the nick of time, the forwards regained the initiative on 72 minutes.

From a scrum on Moseley’s line, skipper and flanker Sam Dickinson smashed his way over for a sixth try and his second, converted by Garry Law, yo create breathing space.

Rotherham now led by nine points and while the Birmingham club continued to threaten into injury time, Rotherham defended intelligently to retain their advantage.

The Titans’ close win earned them a maximum of five points, but they must learn from the last three games against Esher, London Welsh and Moseley.

Rotherham Titans: Foden, Brierley, Monahan, Godfrey, Homan, Hodgson, Williams, Cahill, Baines, O’Donnell, Maddison, Griffiths, Dickinson, Kirwan,

Taulava. Reps: Stagg, Kilbane, Harris, Copeland, Dougall, Law, Nonu.

Tries: Dickinson, 2, Baines, 2, Brierley, Cahill.Conversions: Hodgson 4, Law.

Referee: Steve Lee.