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

Moseley (24) vs Rotherham Titans (42) - Championship

Saturday September 14th - KO 1:00pm - View Photos

Pre-Match Report

Ahead of the opening-day clash Titans have selected 11 debutants as they aim to continue their recent good form over the Billesley Common outfit. Titans achieved a league double over Moseley last season; however, both games were tight affairs in which the margin of victory was just 4 points on each occasion. The overall league head to head sees Rotherham hold a healthy 20-8 advantage.

Going into the game coach Lee Blackett explained, “The boys have been buzzing for three weeks and they just want to get going now. Everyone has worked very hard behind the scenes and the training has been brutal on occasions. We now need to make sure we front up against Moseley tomorrow.

“I’ve been very impressed with the squad that Kevin Maggs has assembled down there. Usually they are a bit like us in that they lose a large number of players year on year. However, this time around they have kept a nucleus of their squad and added some real quality and experience to it.

“We know we need to be at the top of our game and perform to our maximum; if we do that, then we give ourselves a chance.”

Titans: 15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Jamie Broadley, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Michael Keating, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Capt.), 1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Colin Quigley, 4 Barney Maddison, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Ed Williamson, 7 Ali Birch, 8 Alfie To’oala.

Replacements: 16 Jack Preece, 17 Ben Sowrey, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Ben Thomas, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Dan White, 22 Joel Gill.

Match Report

The Titans pretty much dominated the first period; however, a number of missed opportunities meant they only took a lead of 15-9 in at the break.

The game started brightly enough and after just 3 minutes, Titans new boy Jamie Broadley was on hand to finish off in the corner following fine work from Charlie Mulchrone and Dallan Murphy; Juan Socino missed the difficult conversion from out wide.

Titans grew into the contest nicely and impressed all over the field, including at the set piece. Moseley openside Olly Robinson was shown a yellow card by referee Ian Tempest on 12 minutes for blatant foul play. Shortly after Rotherham came close to pushing the opposition over for a try, but lost possession in the scrum at a critical point.

Against the run of play, two penalties from Moseley fly half Olly Thomas before the half hour mark edged the Midlanders 6-5 ahead. This however seemed to ignite the Titans and two minutes later another new boy Tom Cruse dibbed down following a tremendous break by Socino, which also involved tight head prop Colin Quigley. Socino knocked over the extras to nudge Rotherham 12-6 ahead.

Olly Thomas then traded a drop goal with a Socino penalty late in the first half to send the teams in at the break with Rotherham holding a 15-9 advantage.

Three further successful penalties from Socino inside the first 15 minute’s of the second half extended Rotherham’s advantage to 24-9 and they appeared to be cruising at this point.

However, Moseley are a side renowned for their fighting spirit and they predictably bounced back with a fine counter-attacking try through Simon Hunt a little after the hour mark. Although Thomas missed his conversion from out wide, he atoned 3 minutes later when he knocked over a penalty from distance; after Titans Charlie Mulchrone was yellow carded for foul play.

Thomas’ penalty reduced Moseley’s arrears to 24-17 and with the Midlanders having the extra man on the park late in the game; Titans supporters were becoming a tad edgy. However, they need not have been concerned! Two further Socino penalties were a prelude to a late show of Titans power.

First up Tom Cruse (so tempted to add “put in a Hollywood display” but wont) crashed over from short range on the back of a 5 metre catch and drive to add his second try of the afternoon and then replacement number 8 Laurence Pearce showed his menace, power and pace to bulldoze through for a deserved try and secure the bonus point for the Titans. Socino tagged on the extras.

The last play of the match saw Moseley flyer Matthew Williams gallop 80 metres, evading tackles along the way to impressively touch down under the sticks; Greg King converted to end a thrilling and exciting encounter.

Titans 42-24 victory satisfied Coach Lee Blackett, as he explained, “Although we are satisfied with the result, we felt we should have gone in at half time with bigger lead than we did. Our discipline in the first half was a slight issue for us; we gave away 11 penalties and we were disappointed with that. But we rectified that in the second half and that pleased me enormously.

“Our defence on the hole was pretty good, although we did have a couple of lapses and that disappointed me. In attack I thought we showed ourselves quite well, but if I’m being critical, I think there were plenty of other opportunities that we should have finished off, but we didn’t.

“Overall though it is very positive to come away from the first game with five points.”

Attendance: 1,300
Referee: Ian Tempest
Yellow Card: C. Mulchrone (Titans).
Titans: Broadley (T), Cruse (2T), Pearce (T), Socino (6P, 2C).
Moseley: S. Hunt (T), M. Williams (T), O. Thomas (3P, 1D/G), G. King (1C).Titans: 15

Sean Scanlon (Gill 35), 14 Jamie Broadley, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Michael Keating, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Capt.) (Preece 76), 1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Tom Cruse (Sowery 78), 3 Colin Quigley (Tampin 78), 4 Barney Maddison (Thomas 73), 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Ed Williamson (White 66), 7 Ali Birch, 8 Alfie To’oala (Pearce h-t).

Replacements: 16 Jack Preece, 17 Ben Sowrey, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Ben Thomas, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Dan White, 22 Joel Gill.

Moseley: 15 Mike Penn, 14 Scott Armstrong, 13 Simon Hunt, 12 Greg King, 11 Matt Williams, 10 Oliver Thomas (Owen 78), 9 Sam Brown (Day 43), 1 Tom Warren (Voisey 54), 2 Rhys Buckley, 3 Ben Evans (Parkins 62), 4 Cory Hill, 5 Mike Powell (Woolford 54), 6 Nigel Burrows (Mason 56), 7 Oliver Robinson, 8 Chris Brightwell (W. Evans 78).

Replacements: 16 Neil Mason, 17 Craig Voisey, 18 Adam Parkins, 19 Alex Woolford, 20 William Evans, 21 Alex Day, 22 Will Owen.