Rotherham Titans may well have lost their seventh consecutive game but they produced a fighting performance in Dublin last night when they scored four tries in their penultimate game in the British and Irish Cup.
The Titans conceded six tries in an entertaining contest, but the Rotherham forwards put Leinster under serious pressure on several occasions and created first half tries for centre Jordan Davies – returning from injury – and flanker Max Argyle.
Rotherham were losing 17-10 at half time and while their defence should have been tighter, their commitment could not be questioned.
The pack’s ability to win decent possession was rewarded with second half tries by number eight Josh Redfern as he crashed over for his first Titans try along with replacement Welsh hooker Darran Harris, also on his come-back.
The conversion by Will Goodwin of Harris’s try cut the Leinster lead to only 31-24 with 20 minutes remaining, but Rotherham couldn’t press on, although towards the end, Harris came close to adding a second try as the pack attacked the line.
Leinster finished the stronger of the two sides and broke through again to score two more tries. However Rotherham, who now face vital Championship matches against Doncaster and Bristol in the next two weeks, can take encouragement as they prepare to take on the two best sides in the league.
The aggressive display by the pack, which has recently been subject to much criticism, was a positive sign, and in particular coach Mark Jones will be delighted that Davies and Harris made successful returns after missing several Championship games through serious injury.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Davies, Barker, L.Hayes, Jones, Carter, Hislop, Preece, Tampin, Holmes, B.Maddison, Argyle, Calladine, Redfern.
Replacements: Harris, Williams, Elliot, Oram, Birch, Gill, Goodwin.
Scorers: Tries: Davies, Argyle, Redfern, Harris. Conversions: Jones, Goodwin.