Rugby Union: Plucky Titans seal third successive cup win

Tom Cruse scored two tries in Titans' away win.
Tom Cruse scored two tries in Titans' away win.
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A thrilling second half performance by Rotherham in Belfast last night when they won their third consecutive game in the British and Irish Cup has given them an excellent chance of reaching the quarter finals of the competition again.

Rotherham won the closest of games in the last minute with the last play of the match at Deramore Park when fly half James McKinney, returning to his home city, kicked the conversion of Rotherham’s fifth try scored by second row forward Perry Parker who had levelled the scores at 29 all.

Earlier after drawing 7-7 at half time, the Titans had to overcome sustained pressure from Ulster who scored three second half tries on 44, 59 and 78 minutes.

Rotherham hooker Tom Cruse, who had scored the Titans’ only try in the first half, crashed over in the 54th minute for his second.

Typical of the spirit which Rotherham showed in the second 40 minutes were the flowing moves which produced tries on 65 and 73 minutes for centre Jack Roberts and winger James Broadley whose score put the Titans in 24-22.

Ulster maintained their attacks and late in the second half after crossing Rotherham’s line for the fourth time, they led by 29-24 as the game reached its climax.

However, in a storming finish, Rotherham fought back yet again with Parker grabbing a vital score which followed powerful work by the Titans’ pack.

The excitement gathered momentum as McKinney’s conversion went over the posts to guarantee a victory which keeps Rotherham at the top of Pool 2 on 14 points.

Rotherham, who won by five tries to four, earned a maximum of five points and will be now confident of beating Ulster again in the return match at Clifton Lane at the end of November.

n Titans: Hayes, Scanlon, Roberts, Davies, Broadley, McKinney, McGaffin, Williams, Cruse, Macklin, Parker, Holmes, Argyle, Birch, Rieder. Replacements: Preece, Gadd, Tampin, Maddison, Ryan, Mitchell, Barrett.

n Scorers: Tries: Cruse 2, Roberts, Broadley, Parker.

n Conversions: McKinney 3.