League Table

P W D L Pts
1 Bristol 21 17 0 4 86
2 London Welsh 21 18 0 3 82
3 Leeds 21 16 0 5 75
4 Rotherham Titans 21 16 0 5 75
5 London Scottish 21 13 0 8 61

Fixtures

Munster (9) vs Rotherham Titans (9) - British & Irish Cup

Friday December 14th - KO 6.30pm

Pre-Match Report

Returning from injury and going straight into the side are Eamonn Sheridan and Lee Blackett, both of whom will team up in the centres. Charlie Mulchrone is preferred this week at scrum half, replacing the impressive Jimmy Williams who has a place on the bench.

In the pack, Jamie Kilbane and Ross Davies come back into the fold at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively. Dan Sanderson gets the nod in the second row, whilst Alex Rieder returns to a starting berth at blindside flanker, following a touch of tonsillitis.

Titans Head Coach Alex Codling is looking forward to the Munster challenge and commented, “We’ve lost our control over Pool 7 and as a result we are going to go over there and give it a real go. We’ve selected a strong side and our aim is to be adventurous in our approach.

“We know Munster are very good side and as holders of the trophy they are keen to retain it. However, we believe we are a good side too and I want the boys to go over there and do themselves justice. There’s no pressure on us at all, because no one outside of our camp believes we can go there and get the result, but it won’t be for a lack of effort if we don’t.”

Titans: 15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 12 Lee Blackett (Capt.), 11 Joel Gill, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone, 1 Jamie Kilbane, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Latu Makaafi, 8 Rory Pitman.

Replacements: 16 Gareth Denman, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Ben Thomas, 19 Joe Ellyatt, 20 Garry Law, 21 Mike Doneghan, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Match Report

On a chilly night at Musgrave Park, Rotherham put in a performance which was a big step-up on last week’s effort at home to Munster, with the set-scrum being just one area where the Titans improved considerably. The contest itself saw both sides defence on top throughout, although Rotherham did have much the better of an exciting first period.

In that first period Rotherham recovered from an early JJ Hanrahan penalty on 11 minutes, to storm back with three James McKinney efforts, which took the visitors in at the break 3-9 ahead. The combination of Lee Blackett and Eamonn Sheridan in the centres particularly caused the hosts distress on several occasions, as they carved out promising openings.

At the breakdown Titans were superior, constantly exerting pressure on their opponents. Toby Freeman and Rory Pitman were outstanding, carrying and penetrating the gain line impressively, although the latter worryingly left the field after 36 minutes with a suspected broken rib.

The hosts came back into the contest after the break and nibbled into the Rotherham lead when JJ Hanrahan knocked over his second penalty of the night on 43 minutes. The game then developed into a war of attrition with try scoring opportunities limited for both sides.

Just as it appeared Rotherham would hold out for a sensational victory, Alex Rieder was given a yellow card four minutes from time. The resulting penalty allowed JJ Hanrahan to step-up and from 50 metres nail his kick to spare the hosts blushes. Titans pressed on looking for a winning score to secure a memorable victory, but as the clock ticked down, the South Yorkshire outfit had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Alex Codling, Titans Head Coach said afterwards, “I am delighted with the effort and performance put in by the boys, everyone contributed and we are still in the competition. It’s always disappointing when you come so close to a stunning victory and then just miss out, but we’ll take plenty of positives from the match. We need to use this performance and result as a springboard as we press on with the remainder of our season.”

Attendance: 350

Referee: Simon Rees (WRU)

Yellow Card: Alex Rieder (75).

Titans: James McKinney (3P).

Munster: JJ Hanrahan (3P).

Titans: 15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan (Garry Law 62), 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 12 Lee Blackett (Capt.), 11 Joel Gill (Mike Doneghan 62), 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Jimmy Williams 79), 1 Jamie Kilbane (Gareth Denman 60), 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Ross Davies (Shane Cahill 60), 4 Toby Freeman (Ben Thomas 70), 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Latu Makaafi, 8 Rory Pitman (Joe Ellyatt 36).

Replacements: 16 Gareth Denman, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Ben Thomas, 19 Joe Ellyatt, 20 Garry Law, 21 Mike Doneghan, 22 Jimmy Williams.

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy; 14 Darren Moroney (Richie Mullane 78), 13 Ivan Dineen, 12 Scott Deasy, 11 Ronan O'Mahony; 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan; 1 James Cronin, 2 Sean Henry (Capt.), 3 John Ryan (Alan Cotter 65); 4 Dave Foley, 5 Ian Nagle; 6 Brian Hayes, 7 Sean Dougall, 8 Barry O'Mahony (Ryan Murphy 61).

Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Alan Cotter, 18 Philip Donnellan, 19 Ryan Murphy, 20 Brian Slater, 21 Johnny Holland, 22 Richie Mullane.