League Table

P W D L Pts
2 Worcester Warriors 5 4 0 1 20
3 London Scottish 5 4 0 1 20
4 Doncaster Knights 5 3 0 2 14
5 Rotherham Titans 5 3 0 2 14
6 Nottingham 5 3 0 2 13

Fixtures

Aberavon (21) vs Rotherham Titans (25) - British & Irish Cup

Saturday October 13th - KO 2.30pm

Pre-Match Report

There is some good news for the club on the injury front however, with both Fergus and Charlie Mulchrone returning to the side. Joe Ellyatt will also start after recently returning to Clifton Lane and new boy Nile Dacres (Duel-registered from Worcester Warriors) will get an opportunity to impress in the back row.

Titans’ opponents Aberavon, compete in the Principality Building Society Welsh Premiership, in which to date after 7 games they are surprisingly bottom of the division, after finishing last season 3rd just three points off top spot.

Rotherham Titans are determined to make their mark in this season’s competition and feel with the added depth within their squad this term, reaching the latter stages of the Cup is a realistic aim and one they aspire to.

Titans Head Coach Andre Bester said ahead of the match, “One of our goals this season is to progress deep into the latter stages of the British & Irish Cup. We feel that the depth we now have in the squad is sufficient to mount a serious effort on the competition. Despite the squad suffering from a huge amount of injuries at the moment, we feel the team selected highlights the quality and depth we have right now.

“I’m delighted that the Mulchrone brothers have now overcome their injury problems and they will get the opportunity to demonstrate what good players they are. Fergus has been injured for a long time and he’s very eager to get back out there and show everyone just what he can do. Charlie was very instrumental at Macclesfield and I rate him very highly as does his peers.

“We’ve also got Joe Ellyatt coming back into contention following his return to Clifton Lane from South Africa. We’ve also brought in a new player from Worcester Warriors on a dual registered arrangement. Nile Dacres will be with us initially for one month, he can cover second and back row positions and will start at blindside against Aberavon. Nile is looking to make an impact and he’s got all the physical attributes to make it in the game.

“Aberavon has always been a powerhouse club within Wales and they have an exceptional rugby tradition. We expect a complete confrontational style from them, which they are good at. They have a dominant pack of forwards, their set-piece will be solid and they will test us from all over the park.”

Titans: 15 Mike Whitehead, 14 Ed Styles, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Mike Doneghan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone, 1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Jan Francois Bester, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Nile Dacres, 7 Joe Ellyatt, 8 Rory Pitman (Capt.).

Replacements: 16 Ted Stagg, 17 Ross Davies, 18 Jamie Kilbane, 19 Alex Rieder, 20 Carl Kirwan, 21 Lee Blackett, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Match Report

Rotherham Titans collected a fine 25-21 victory over Aberavon, as their B&I Cup campaign got off to a solid start. Plenty of rain both before and during the match made conditions tricky for both sides. However it was the host’s that adapted the quickest and raced into a 13-0 lead after just 16 minutes.

Two penalties for Aberavon’s Jamie Davies inside the first 5 minutes settled the home side down. John Phillips then extended the advantage ten minutes later with a try which Davies converted and there were concerns the visitors may get overrun. However,Rotherhambegan to settle and started to impose themselves, particularly so at scrum time.

Titans’ pressure started to have an impact which forced Aberavon into giving away penalties. James McKinney made the most and slotted three between the posts on 20, 23 and 30 minutes to reduce Titans arrears to 13-9. Titans continued to press, but no further points were added before the break.

Into the second period and Rotherham continued to edge matters and when McKinney scored his 4th penalty of the match, Titans trailed by just a solitary point. The Clifton Lane based outfit took the lead for the first time on 50 minutes when Dan Sanderson crashed over for McKinney to convert.

Two further McKinney penalties before the hour mark stretched Rotherham’s advantage to 25-13. However, a lapse of concentration from the visitors, coupled with Aberavon’s desire to get something from the game, resulted in Stefan Andrews touching down for the Welsh sides 2nd try of the match. Nic Damjanovic converted the try to set up a nervy finale for the Titans.

Indeed, Rotherham saw out the game to collect a hard-earned, but thoroughly deserved victory. Post game Titans Head Coach Andre Bester reflected, “It was a good performance all round from the boys as it is never easy getting a result in Wales.

“The conditions were difficult and the torrential rain meant we had to readjust our style and that took us 20 minutes to achieve, hence we were 13-0 down early on. Thereafter I thought we were the better side, our scrum totally dominated and I thought all the boys contributed to the result.”

Attendance: 600

Referee: Charles Samson

Yellow Card: Rowan Jenkins 24, Darryl Thomas 47, Rory Pitman 72.

Titans: Dan Sanderson (T), James McKinney (6P,1C).

Aberavon: Jonathan Phillips (T), Stefan Andrews (T), Jamie Davies (2P,1C), Nic Damjanovic (P).

Titans: 15 Mike Whitehead (Lee Blackett 74), 14 Ed Styles, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Mike Doneghan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Jimmy Williams 75), 1 Marshall Gadd (Jamie Kilbane 72), 2 Jan Francois Bester (Ted Stagg 68), 3 Gareth Denman (Ross Davies 75), 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Sanderson (Alex Rieder 68), 6 Nile Dacres, 7 Joe Ellyatt (Carl Kirwan 68), 8 Rory Pitman (Capt.).

Replacements: 16 Ted Stagg, 17 Ross Davies, 18 Jamie Kilbane, 19 Alex Rieder, 20 Carl Kirwan, 21 Lee Blackett, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Aberavon: 15 Jonathan Phillips, 14 Richard Thomas, 13 Ben John, 12 Matthew Jenkins, 11 Stefan Andrews, 10 Jamie Davies (Nic Damjanovic 72), 9 Joe Heatley, 1 Rowan Jenkins (Neil White 58), 2 Evan Yardley (Ieuan Davies 58), 3 Andrew Clatworthy (Chris John 68), 4 Rhydian Gierat (Ben Thomas 61), 5 Ian Moore (Capt.), 6 Lee Purnell, 7 Morgan Allen, 8 Darryl Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Ricky Thomas, 17 Nic Damjanovic, 18 Ieuan Davies, 19 Ben Thomas, 20 Joe Tomalin-Reeves, 21 Chris John, 22 Neil White.