Pack holds all the aces for Titans
This was arguably Rother ham's best performance of the season and has done much to boost the self-belief of the first team squad as they begin to prepare for their hardest home game of the entire campaign against Northamp ton at Clifton Lane at the end of the month.
Rotherham left Monks Lane with a maximum five points and in doing so they claimed their fourth win in seven National One games.
Tries by Mark Lawson, Alex Dunlop, Jon Feeley, Stephen Grissing and Michael McComish produced a highly satisfactory effort which must be continued at Moseley this Saturday.
The Titans played throughout with much more authority and vigour, and the pack in particular can be pleased with their display, not least when they were defending their line.
The forwards let in four tries against Esher, but down in Newbury, the opposition pack crossed Roth’s line only twice. So the hard work in training to correct the weakness against the rolling maul seems to have worked on this evidence.
A much truer verdict can be given once the pack has been tested against Northampton, and against the forwards which Plymouth, Cornish Pirates, Exeter and Doncaster possess.
Coach Phil Werahiko was a lot happier after this performance, only the second time this season in National One that the Titans have delivered consecutive victories.
Werahiko moved skipper Michael Whitehead from full back to his preferred position of fly half. The decision proved to be effective as did the switch of Jamie Blackwood from centre to full back.
Looking back on Rotherham’s win, Whitehead, who personally recovered well from a poor start, which conceded a try after only five minutes, was delighted with the result. “The team work was outstanding. The pack controlled the tempo of the game really well.”
Rotherham’s best tries were the fourth and fifth. On 55 minutes, Irish winger Stephen Grissing completed a fine move in which several players featured.
The attack from right to left wrecked Newbury’s defence and finished with Grissing scoring his sixth league try, giving Roth a lead of 30-12.
Later in the fourth minute of injury time, Roth’s pack controlled the ball expertly and drove over number eight Michael McComish.
His try showed that Roth’s forwards are growing in confidence and are beginning to compete much more effectively in National One.
But Roth still need to strengthen their defence because they are conceding too many tries against ordinary opponents.
n Rotherham Titans scorers: Lawson, Dunlop, Feeley, Grissing, McComish; Conver sions - Whitehead 2; Penalties - Whitehead 2.