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

Nottingham (7) vs Rotherham Titans (51) - Championship

Sunday March 9th - KO 1:00pm - View Photos

Pre-Match Report

Ahead of the important Greene King IPA Championship Round 18 clash, Titans Lee Blackett has made just two changes to the side that narrowly lost at home to Bristol last week in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The one change in the backline sees flying winger Curtis Wilson come back into contention for Jamie Broadley, whilst in the pack Ali Birch comes into the back row for the injured and inspirational Alfie To’oala.

At this stage of the season most teams have picked up a number of injuries and the Titans are no different. Unavailable for selection this week due to injury are Alfie To'oala (hamstring), Ed Williamson (ribs) and Tom Cruse (ankle), with Rotherham also unable to call on long-term injury casualties Ben Thomas, Sam Heygate, Laurence Pearce and Barney Maddison.

Lee Blackett however is quite philosophical about the growing injury list at Clifton Lane, as he explained, “We’ve always said if we want to have any ambitions of a top four spot we need to be lucky with injuries and I still believe we have a good enough squad to win games at this level. The majority of our key performers are all available and on paper we look to be putting out decent sides.”

However, Blackett is under no illusions as to the challenges that Nottingham will present his side at the weekend. He continued, “If you have a look at Nottingham, you only have to look at their last two performances at home to see how difficult a side they are to beat at Meadow Lane. They beat London Scottish and denied them a losing bonus point and in their last game at home they lost by a single point to Bristol in the last minute. So, we know it’s going to be a massive ask and we need to make sure we come out of the blocks this week.”

Titans: 15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Michael Keating, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Capt.), 1 Robin Hislop, 2 Ben Sowrey, 3 Colin Quigley, 4 Josh Thomas-Brown, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Ali Birch, 7 Jack Preece, 8 Alex Rieder.

Replacements: 16 Ben Morris, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Jordan Davies, 21 Dan White, 22 Garry Law.

Match Report

Rotherham scored four tries either side of half time to record their biggest ever margin of victory over their East Midlands rivals and in doing so consolidated their fourth place spot in the division. Curtis Wilson caught the eye with a hat trick of tries, Alex Rieder continued his recent excellent form and Garry Law impressed from the bench as a second half replacement.

Titans raced into the lead within a minute of the start when Curtis Wilson galloped in from 30 metres following impressive work by Dan Sanderson. The hosts hit back soon afterwards though, when a catch and drive move close to the Titans line was finished off by Nottingham captain Brent Wilson, but Rotherham nosed themselves back ahead on 10 minutes with a regulation penalty from Juan Pablo Socino.

Then in the space of 3 minutes Rotherham turned the game on its head with two very impressive tries. First on 14 minutes following a terrific break by Ali Birch, Sean Scanlon collected and raced in from 25 metres and just 3 minutes later, following more good work by Dan Sanderson, Ali Birch demonstrated great strength and speed to bulldoze through and crash over the line as he tore the Nottingham defence apart.

Towards the end of the half Nottingham pressed close to the Titans line, but the visitors managed to repel the danger with a brilliant turnover and cleared the danger downfield. With the last play of the half, following a great offload by Marshall Gadd, Curtis Wilson demonstrated some tricky footwork to dance through the home defence to score his second try near the posts and secure the bonus point. Socino’s conversion sent Rotherham in at the break with a healthy 29-7 advantage.

The second period started exactly the same as the first as Titans scored within a minute of the restart. Michael Keating made a terrific break before finding Dallan Murphy in support; the Brisbane native collected sweetly and cruised in from 25 metres for Rotherham’s fifth try.

Titans sixth came ten minutes later from good turnover ball; Dallan Murphy made good ground before Curtis Wilson raced in for his hat tick of touch downs in the far left corner. Ten minutes from time replacement Garry Law showed good speed and awareness to break through and feed Sean Scanlon for his second try and Titans final try of a glorious afternoon came three minutes before the end, when Michael Keating jinked through after good work in the build up from fellow Irishman Sean Scanlon.

An excellent team performance, where all 22 Titans made a contribution delighted head coach Lee Blackett, who commented afterwards, “We wanted to massively rectify a few things from our display against Bristol last week. We were happy with our performance against Bristol, but obviously disappointed with our first 20 minutes. This week we put a huge emphasis on the first 20 and the boys came out and did a great job. It has to be up there with one of our best performances of the year so far. To come to Nottingham and win is really tough, but to come here and put 50 points on a team that’s done ridiculously well at home is outstanding. It was a great result and a great team performance.”

Attendance: 1329
Referee: Darren Gamage
Yellow Card: Olly Woodburn (Nottingham)
Titans: Wilson (3T), Scanlon (2T), Birch (T), Murphy (T), Keating (T), Socino (1P, 4C)
Nottingham: Wilson (T), Jarvis (1C)

Titans: 15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Michael Keating, 13 Jack Roberts (Davies 43), 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 Dallan Murphy (Law 60), 9 Charlie Mulchrone (Capt.) (White 43), 1 Robin Hislop (Gadd 13), 2 Ben Sowrey, 3 Colin Quigley (Tampin 60), 4 Josh Thomas-Brown (Morris 52), 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Ali Birch, 7 Jack Preece (Holmes 52), 8 Alex Rieder.

Replacements: 16 Ben Morris, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Jordan Davies, 21 Dan White, 22 Garry Law.

Nottingham: 15 Rory Lynn, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Joe Munro (Molloy 69), 12 Javiah Pohe, 11 Ryan Hough, 10 Matthew Jarvis, 9 Sean Romans (Lee-Everton 52), 1 Campese Ma'afu (Bower 57), 2 Jon Vickers (Walker 57), 3 Michael Holford (Williams 57), 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Montagu (Price 63), 6 Will Skuse, 7 Brent Wilson (Capt.), 8 Alex Shaw (Cooper 57).

Replacements: 16 Ryan Bower, 17 Harry Williams, 18 Alun Walker, 19 Tom Price, 20 Alfie Molloy, 21 Harrison Lee-Everton, 22 Rupert Cooper.