Yorkshire Carnegie 43 Rotherham Titans 9: Leeds side’s double over Rotherham
Their Leeds rivals completed a Championship double as Titans’ lack of discipline was again a major factor, as was the inability to defend their line against rolling mauls put together by the Leeds pack.
Remarkably, four of the Carnegie tries were scored by flanker Josh Bainbridge who cashed in ruthlessly on Rotherham’s errors.
All his tries were scored from mauls which the Titans’ pack could not cope with, although in their defence,the mauls were hard to contain when Carnegie had the power going forward.
Nevertheless, the Titans’ league campaign is now in deep trouble and is in danger of developing into a full blown crisis, and on current form the Clifton Lane side will not make the promotion play-offs in the spring.
As well as handing over easy points to Carnegie, Rotherham also wasted several promising scoring positions by carelessly giving the ball away.
From time to time in the second half, Rotherham handled the ball well and looked threatening, but, fatally, were not strong enough or skilful enough to break through, and mistakes going forward prevented them scoring a single try.
The Titans’commitment can’t be faulted, but the way they apply themselves is delaying any substantial progress in such a competitive league.
Not surprisingly, coach Mark Jones was deeply disappointed: “ We made so many unforced errors which put them in the driving seat.
“The indiscipline was fundamental to our defeat. The mistakes we made are breaking up a lot of the good work. We train Monday to Friday and train well, but that work is not transferred into what we do on match days.
“This is obviously a challenge for me, but the players have said they’ve got to be harder on each other, so we can put things right.”
Rotherham conceded three tries in the first half and were losing 24-9 at the break, and then to make matters far worse in a derby, they let in another three in the second which included two converted tries(14 points) when the Titans were reduced to 14 men following a yellow card against replacement forward Ali Birch.
The only points Rotherham were able to score came from three penalties by fly half James McKinney who put over kicks on 9, 20 and 40 minutes.
Thirteen of Carnegie’s points came from the accurate goal kicking of former Leeds Rhinos super star Kevin Sinfield who has switched successfully from rugby league to union.
This Championship defeat, the third in a row, makes it vital that Rotherham win at Clifton Lane next Saturday against Cornish Pirates.
Titans remain in seventh place on 27 points.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, L.Hayes,Barker,J.Hayes, McKinney, Davies, Hislop, C.Maddison, Thiede, Salmon, B.Maddison, Argyle, Calladine, Cree.
Replacements: Preece, Cromie, Tampin, Oram, Birch, Carter, Jones.
Scorer: McKinney: Penalties 3.
Referee: Greg Macdonald.