Worry as Titans’ winless run continues

Curtis Wilson waves to the crowd as he is stretchered off Picture Dean Atkins
Curtis Wilson waves to the crowd as he is stretchered off Picture Dean Atkins
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Rotherham’s losing streak, which now stretches to four successive games, is in danger of developing into a crisis as the Titans prepare for vital Championship games shortly against Yorkshire Carnegie and then Cornish Pirates.

Rotherham may have lost by only a point in their fourth game in Pool One of the British and Irish Cup, but their performance was again disappointing and as a result of this defeat, Rotherham have little chance of qualifying for the knock out stages having lost three games with two to play.

The Titans showed some improvement in the first half at Clifton Lane and led 16-0 after 30 minutes following a fine try by centre Joe Barker, a conversion and two penalties from fly half James McKinney, and a long range penalty from full back Ross Jones.

But fatally, they lost control towards the end of the opening period and after they had given away penalties, Moseley scored two tries on 36 and 40 minutes to change the nature of the contest.

Both their tries came from rolling mauls following line outs, and at the break Moseley were losing by only 16-10 and were gaining momentum.

For long periods after the break, Rotherham struggled to break through the Moseley defence, and their fight back grew in confidence as they scored a third try by winger Kyle Evans who ran almost the length of the field to score putting the Birmingham club in front for the first time at 18-16.

The conversion moved them ahead by four points (20-16), but the Titans fought back on 62 minutes when McKinney struck his third penalty to make it 20-19 and with it hopes of a late win.

Rotherham tried hard to gain the winning score, but efforts by centre Jack Hayes and hooker Charlie Maddison were defied, but just before the final whistle, Rotherham thought they had been given the chance to clinch the match.

However, the penalty they were awarded was reversed and instead Hayes was shown a yellow card for foul play, so Moseley were let off and survived as Rotherham were cut to 14 men only in added time.

This set-back is a serious blow as is the ankle injury to winger Curtis Wilson who was taken off by stretcher after little more than five minutes and then driven to hospital by an ambulance.

The Titans and the coaches Mark Jones and Steve Salvin have a few days only to prepare the side for the league game at Headingley,the Sunday after Christmas, and therefore little time to produce a battle plan that will stop the rot and revive a club that on current form has little chance of making the promotion play-offs.

These are worrying times at Clifton Lane.

n Rotherham Titans: Jones, Keating, Hayes, Barker, Wilson, McKinney, Davies, Hislop, C.Maddison, Tampin,Holmes, Salmon, Gilmour,B.Maddison, Argyle.

n Replacements: Crane, Cromie, Thiede, Oram, Calladine, Carter, Rath.

n Scorers: Try: Barker. Conversion: McKinney. Penalties: McKinney 3, Jones.

n Referee: Ben Blain.