How Rotherham Titans can shock Bristol Rugby

Ben Morris in action
Ben Morris in action

Rotherham Titans had Bristol Rugby on the ropes last weekend and Ben Morris believes the Greene King IPA Championship final beckons if they can do it again.

Bristol have been an all-conquering force this season, winning 21 of their 22 league games to finish top of the pile, passing a century of point in the process.

However, they appeared to have met their match at Ashton Gate on Saturday as the Titans went into half-time with a 10-8 lead – No.8 Morris having grabbed the opening try.

A second-half revival from the hosts saw them eventually clinch a 32-20 win and take a 12-point lead north for the second leg.

However, Morris is confident another bright start from his side can put Bristol under pressure and lay the platform for a famous victory.

“If we get the first score I think Bristol will start panicking and I think that is what happened last weekend,” he said.

“Then it is about who is going to take their chances.

“When we scored our second try we were in charge of the game pretty much but in the last 20 minutes it was a case of clinging on.

“Bristol got a bit of momentum and scored a few points and in the second leg we have got to play for 80 minutes – another 60-minute performance won’t be enough.

“We lost to them by two points at home in the regular season and we could have beaten them.

“We didn’t go out there to cling on – we went out there with the intention to win – but 12 points is not too bad and something we can turn around.”

As for Morris, the try was his first in competitive rugby for over a year and the loose forward – on loan from Newcastle Falcons – was pleased to chip in.

Now he is determined to help Rotherham all the way to promotion, even if he has agreed to join Greene King IPA Championship rivals Nottingham on a permanent deal next season.

“You don’t want to go into a game and think nothing of it because you are moving on next season. It would be nice if we could go into the final and cause an upset again,” he added.

“I started off the season covering second row and then I went and broke my hand when I got my first start in the back row. It has been quite nice to get a regular starting spot.

“It is always nice to be in a side that’s winning quite a lot and hopefully that will be the case with Nottingham next season too.”

* Formed in 2009, the Greene King IPA Championship is the second tier of professional rugby union in England. To keep up-to-date with all the latest news follow @ChampRugby on Twitter, or visit www.rfu.com/championship