Rotherham Titans 26 Cornish Pirates 24: Super last-ditch kick by Robinson gives Titans win in thriller

Rotherham Titans have enjoyed many moments of high drama since the introduction of league rugby 30 years ago, but nothing can beat the extraordinary climax to this game.
Rotherham Titans' match-winning hero Will Robinson.  Picture James HardistyRotherham Titans' match-winning hero Will Robinson.  Picture James Hardisty
Rotherham Titans' match-winning hero Will Robinson. Picture James Hardisty

No one will ever forget the successful match winning kick put over by fly half Will Robinson whose touch line conversion grabbed a sensational win with the last play of a contest which ended with Cornish Pirates down to 12 players only.

Considering that Rotherham prepared for this game minus 18 players-12 out injured and the six dual registered with Gloucester had been recalled-it was amazing they were so competitive.

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Towards the end of normal time as Pirates led 24-19, referee, Mr Matthew O’Grady he not only showed a yellow card to winger Matt Evans, but two more followed rapidly as the Cornish forwards pulled down the maul.

So three yellow cards in about four minutes, and with Pirates cut down to 12 men only, suddenly the Titans, outplayed in the first 10 minutes and losing 17-3, now had the unexpected opportunity to claim a remarkable victory.

They did it in style. Following a scrum in injury time, they attacked the Pirates’ line and the ball was quickly moved to the wing where Jake Henry touched down to make it 24-24-with one play only remaining.

The huge responsibility of kicking the two points to seize victory fell to Robinson who had already put Rotherham back in contention with four penalties and a conversion.

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Just as before, his accuracy was 100 per cent, and within seconds of the ball going over between the posts, the Titans’ number 10 was buried by his celebrating team-mates.

“It was certainly a dramatic finish and funnily enough I had been practising kicking from that same spot on Friday,” Robinson explained.

“We started poorly and showed a lot of character to claw our way back in the last 30 and 40 minutes.

“These Rotherham lads are the best bunch of boys I’ve been around in my career.”

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The Titans other try was scored by forward Tom Hicks which launched the recovery.

While coach Justin Burnell was both relieved and delighted with his third win in seven Championship games, he was concerned that two more players-centre Cameron Hudson and hooker Charlie Maddison-were both injured (ankle) and needed to be taken off by stretcher.

Burnell will find out this morning for how long they will be absent as he starts preparing the squad for this Saturday’s league game at Ealing Trailfinders.

Rotherham Titans: Goodwin, Thomas, Hudson, Owen, Henry, Robinson, Tressider, Toby Williams, Maddison, Rees, Curry, Hicks, Lawrence, Oliver, MacDonald.

Replacements: Cole, Tom Williams, Herriott, Salmon, Tyas, Walsh, Kelly.

Tries: Hicks, Henry. Conversions: Robinson 2. Penalties: Robinson 4.

Referee: Matthew O’Grady.