Crisis looms as Titans fall to Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs 62Rotherham Titans 10

By The Newsroom
Monday, 17th September 2007, 11:30 am

It's far too soon to say that Rotherham are facing a crisis after just three games into the National One season but, having been thrashed at Exeter by 10 tries to one, suddenly this Saturday's league match against Launceston at Clifton Lane takes on great significance.

A third successive defeat would be a major shock, and to lose to the new boys on the block in National One does not bear thinking about.

Rotherham's defeat at Sandy Park, a glittering multi-million-pound stadium earning revenue which Roth can never match in present circumstances, was stunning, and one of the club's worst performances at this level.

Everything went wrong, especially in the second half when Exeter exploded. After trailing 22-10 at the break, Rotherham collapsed and let in 40 unanswered points in a one- sided contest which became embarrassing.

Four tries were conceded in the first half and then another six in the second as Exeter cashed in on Roth's blunders, which gave away possession and allowed Exeter to counter-attack ruthlessly.

Naturally, the new squad which has been put together by coach Phil Werahiko will take time to make an impact, but it had better be soon, unless the club that finished second in National One last season will start declining and finish towards the end of the table.

The only bright spot on a black afternoon in Devon was the manner in which Roth scored a try by number eight Alex Dunlop on 24 minutes.

The pack, for about the only time in what became a brutal destruction, won possession on Exeter's line, and Dunlop was placed perfectly to score.

With Michael Whitehead converting, Exeter's lead was cut to 17-7. That was the only stage in the match when Roth looked like being competitive.