Rotherham Titans – 26/09/2015

30Rotherham Titans

23Doncaster Knights

3:00 pm · September 26, 2015

Titans 30 v Knights 23

A stoppage time try from winger Curtis Wilson ended the Knights hope of a first South Yorkshire derby win in five years in what was a typically tense and hard fought Donny versus Roth fixture.

Both the teams entered the fixture in impressive form having won two of their opening three Championship fixtures respectively.

With Simon Humberstone and Declan Cusack still on the injured list the Knights began the game with three scrum halves across the back line. Brad Field in the nine jersey with Michael Heaney outside him at stand off and Sam Edgerley starting at full back.

The hosts started the brighter of the two sides having applied early pressure on the Knights following an exit kick that missed touch. Rotherham moved the ball well to link together phases before drawing a penalty for in at the side at the breakdown. Former Knights Tom Barrett put the ball to touch and whilst the Knights repelled the initial driving line out they did so illegally. Barrett put his side back in the corner and having forced another penalty the Titans moved the ball infield where centre Will Owen cut a nice line to break through and dot down. Barrett slotted the extras to give Roth an early seven point lead.

The score sparked the Knights into life and good work at the breakdown by Ollie Stedman forced a penalty which was struck deep to touch by Heaney. The Knights driving line out won back to back penalties and at the third time of asking crashed over, to no one’s surprise, Latu Makaafi was the man to get the score. Dougie added the extras to tie the game.

Both sides were hindered significantly by the penalty count against them and looked to utilize the driving line out. Barrett added a penalty just after the quarter hour mark but it was the Knights who got the next try. Good running from Will Hurrell and then Sam Edgerley drove the team up field and then some cynical play by Tom Calladine saw the flanker yellow carded. Donny went to the corner with the subsequent penalty and after a nice throw to the back crashed over through Matt Challinor with Flockhart adding the extras, 10-14.

Rotherham’s lead was almost immediately reestablished when, scorer of the opening try, Will Owen turned provider for Curtis Wilson. The inside centre broke through into open space with a powerful carry before flinging the ball wide to the oncoming Wilson. From the touchline Barrett managed to find the inside of the post and the ball ricocheted over. The score seemed to improve the hosts, who had been second best for much of the first half, and following some nice carries from Jordan Davies and Sean Scanlon found themselves in range for Barrett to add a drop goal.

The Knights did however finish the half in the ascendancy. After winning a scrum penalty in midfield Heaney kicked to corner and once again Rotherham illegally dropped the maul, Charlie Maddison went to the bin for the infringement. Donny elected to scrum the pen and following two scrum penalties it seemed as if a penalty try was coming. Rotherham made a front row switch and managed to win a penalty against the head much to the bemusement of the travelling Donny fans. Half time Rotherham 20 Knights 14.

Donny looked the better side in the first half but Rotherham had made the Knights pay almost every time they got into good field position.

A bright start was needed from Griff’s troops especially with a man advantage and it came. From nice line out ball Brad Field looked up and chipped a well-struck drop goal through the posts to reduce the deficit to three with only a minute of second half action played. Dougie had a chance to level the scores moments when Scanlon was pinged for crossing however the wingers attempt struck the post.

The Titans soon reawakened and began playing some nice rugby, testing the Knights defence with their expansive game plan. Both sides continued to fall foul of the referees whistle and just before the hour mark Barrett added to his personal tally with another penalty only for Flockhart to hit one over for the Knights five minutes later, 23-20.

Both coaches made a string of changes as the game headed into the final ten minutes and in what was the twenty-eighth penalty of the game Flockhart levelled the scores. With three minutes on the clock Dougie had a chance to put the Knights back in front, again from a penalty, however his attempt agonizingly dropped on the wrong side of the posts.

On balance a draw would probably have been a fair result but the Titans had other ideas. A well weighted kick down field had Alex Shaw scrambling backwards before a good kick chase forced a clearance out of Ollie Stedman. From the half way line Roth missed their line out target but on their next possession drew another penalty as Stedman was sin binned for a high tackle.

Referee Jackson deemed there was enough time to put the penalty to touch and Rotherham secured good line out ball before moving possession in field. Replacement scrum half Andy Davies played a smart inside pass to the oncoming Curtis Wilson and the speedster broke the Knights line before racing home in impressive fashion. Barrett added the extras with the final kick of the game.

A bitter pill to swallow for the Knights who must now dust themselves off ahead of next weekend’s Caste Park clash versus Ealing Trailfinders.

Match Statistics

Titans: 15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Jack Hayes, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 Will Owen, 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 Tom Barrett, 9 Dan White (Andy Davies 69’), 1 Robin Hislop (Toby Williams 64’), 2 Charlie Maddison (Darran Harris 49’), 3 Mark Tampin (Lewis Thiede 39’), 4 Tom Holmes (Capt.) (George Oram 73’), 5 Barney Maddison, 6 Max Argyle, 7 Tom Calladine (Ali Birch 59’), 8 Tim Cree.

Replacements: 16 Darran Harris, 17 Toby Williams, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 George Oram, 20 Ali Birch, 21 Andy Davies, 22 Lloyd Hayes.

Tries; Owen 4’, Wilson 28’ 80’

Conv; Barrett 4’ 28’ 80’

Pens; Barrett 16’ 57’

Drop Goal; Barrett 32’

Sin bin; Calladine 22’ Maddison, C. 38’

Knights XV; 15) Sam Edgerley, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) Mat Clark, 12) Will Hurrell, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Michael Heaney, 9) Brad Field, 1) Jack Bergmanas (Joe Sproston 57’), 2) Ben Hunter (Ted Stagg 70’), 3) Colin Quigley (WillGriff John 70’) , 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Tyler Hotson (Glen Young 70’), 6) Latu Makaafi (Alex Shaw 52’), 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Ollie Stedman.

Replacements; 16) Ted Stagg, 17) Joe Sproston, 18) WillGriff John, 19) Glen Young, 20) Alex Shaw, 21) Josh Sharp, 22) Jim Wigglesworth

Tries; Makaafi 11’, Challinor 23’

Conv; Flockhart 11’, 23’,

Pens; Flockhart 44’ 63’

Drop Goal; Field 42’

Referee: Andrew Jackson

Attendance; 1,721

Our Partners