League Table

P W D L Pts
1 Bristol 8 8 0 0 37
2 Worcester Warriors 8 7 0 1 35
3 London Scottish 8 6 0 2 30
4 Rotherham Titans 8 5 0 3 22
5 Nottingham 8 5 0 3 22

Fixtures

Rotherham Titans (33) vs London Scottish (26) - Championship

Saturday April 20th - KO 3.00pm

Pre-Match Report

A victory for Titans over London Scottish coupled with Jersey creating an upset in the South West against Cornish Pirates, would see the South Yorkshire outfit finish the season in 6th spot. That would represent a remarkable achievement for the club that is enjoying its 17th season at level 2 or above of English rugby.

Going into the clash, Titans one change in the backline sees Joel Gill come into the side at outside centre for the injured Eamonn Sheridan.

In the pack, club stalwart Jamie Kilbane starts at loose head prop, whilst Ross Davies returns to the front row at tight head. Ben Thomas is back in the boiler house and in the back row Alex Rieder and Carl Kirwan return at blind and open flanker respectively.

Titans overall record against the exiles has seen them register just 2 victories in 7 contests. Titans’ last success over Scottish came back in October 1997, where a 24-3 victory at Clifton Lane in the old Allied Dunbar Premiership 2, saw Rotherham finish the season in 4th spot, a place behind London Scottish.

Previewing the match Alex Codling explained, “I know London Scottish really well, having coached down there earlier in the season and I know they have a great bunch of guys. They are in a similar position to us and that makes for a very open contest and a great spectacle for our supporters.

“In terms of players; they’ve always had a strong pack. Mark Bright at number 8 is an outstanding player; he’s a great ball-carrier and a good off-loader. They’ve got a lot of experience in the front five and if you look at Phil Godman at 10; he’s played for Scotland and he played in the semi final of the Heineken Cup last year. Godman gives them great control and they’ve some real pace out in the backs. So we are very aware we are in for a tough, physical challenge.

“However, we are back at Clifton Lane and the boys are keen to do well for the supporters and for the boys that are leaving and it would be nice to send them off with a win. We want to finish the season off on a high and give the supporters some optimism for next season, because there are a lot of good things already in place, both on and off the field here at Rotherham.”

Titans: 15 Ed Styles, 14 Mike Doneghan, 13 Joel Gill, 12 Lee Blackett, 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Capt.), 1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Ben Thomas, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Laurence Pearce.

Replacements: 16 Ally Thomson, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Gareth Denman, 19, Neale Patrick, 20 Toby Freeman, 21 Pale Nonu, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Match Report

Anxious to finish the season off on a positive note, Rotherham Titans raced into an early lead and were 13-0 up inside 25 minutes, following a bulldozing try from Laurence Pearce and a couple of penalties and a conversion from James McKinney.

In an entertaining clash in which both sides endeavoured to play an attractive style of rugby throughout, London Scottish bounced back with two ties before the break from Miles Mantella and James Thompson. James Love missed both conversion attempts, leaving the score with Rotherham 13-10 up at the interval.

Just two minutes into the second period and James Love levelled matters from a penalty kick in front of the posts. However, two minutes later Curtis Wilson scored a magnificent try for the Titans as he collected the ball on the left flank around halfway and then proceeded to dance his way through the Scottish defence before dibbing down under the sticks. McKinney’s conversion put the host 7 points in front.

James Love nudged his second penalty of the match over on 52 minutes to keep the visitors within touch. Just before the hour mark though, Charlie Mulchrone was alert enough to gather an interception and race half the length of the field for his 6th Championship try of the campaign and extend the Titans advantage to 25-16.

In the final 10 minutes Love and McKinney traded penalties before on 80 minutes Toby Freeman collected turnover ball and galloped in from over 40 metres to seal the game with a thrilling try. Seven minutes into injury time Gerard Ellis touched down for the visitors and Love’s conversion ensured the Exiles left with a deserved bonus point for their efforts in a thrilling contest.

Titans coach Alex Codling was delighted with the performance and result and post match explained, “The game was a great advert for the Championship; it was a very open game with some great tries scored. I am filled with an enormous amount of pride, the boys have been absolutely magnificent for me and today was the epitome of that. They showed a huge work ethic, some outstanding skill and they scored some fantastic tries.

“The weather was great which allowed us to play how we wanted to play; the crowd was brilliant again and they really got behind the boys and it’s just a great way to finish the season with three wins on the bounce. It’s a real positive end to the year and that will give everyone some great momentum going into next year.

“One of the main things for me about coaching is working with players and getting to know them and when you get a group that give you everything, like these boys have and they are an incredibly honest bunch, that makes it tougher when you know you are leaving. But I think for myself and the boys who are leaving, we can do so with lots of positive memories.”

Attendance: 1463
Referee: Llyr ApGeraint Roberts
Yellow Card: Patrick (Titans), Twomey (Scottish).
Titans: Pearce (T), Wilson (T), C. Mulchrone (T), Freeman (T), McKinney (3P, 2C).
Scottish: Thompson (T), Mantella (T), Ellis (T), Love (3P, 1C).

Titans: 15 Ed Styles, 14 Mike Doneghan, 13 Joel Gill, 12 Lee Blackett (Pale Nonu h/t), 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Capt.) (Jimmy Williams 60), 1 Jamie Kilbane (Marshall Gadd 66), 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Ross Davies (Gareth Denman h/t), 4 Ben Thomas (Neale Patrick 44), 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Laurence Pearce (Toby Freeman 57).

Replacements: 16 Ally Thomson, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Gareth Denman, 19, Neale Patrick, 20 Toby Freeman, 21 Pale Nonu, 22 Jimmy Williams.

London Scottish: 15 Jim Thompson, 14 James Love, 13 Oli Grove, 12 PJ Gidlow (Richard Bolt 57), 11 Miles Mantella (David Howells 48), 10 Phil Godman, 9 Jamie Stevenson, 1 Nic Mayhew, 2 Harry Allen (Gerard Ellis 35), 3 Eric Fry (Colin Quigley 75), 4 Tyler Hotson, 5 Sam Twomey, 6 Ben Russell (Joe Trayfoot 48), 7 Tommy Spinks (Lewis Calder 62), 8 Mark Bright (Capt.).

Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Colin Quigley, 18 Paul Spivey, 19 Joe Trayfoot, 20 Lewis Calder, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 David Howells.