With his wait for a first Rotherham Titans start finally over, winger Ben Rath is itching to start showing the Clifton Lane faithful what he can do.
Rath has been with Titans for the last three seasons but a combination of injuries and loan spells had seen him make only a handful of appearances off the bench. That changed last Sunday at Bristol in the Greene King IPA Championship as Rath came in for Jack Hayes to make his first start. And it didn’t take him long for him to show what he could do, running onto Sean Scanlon’s pass to sprint clear and score on 25 minutes.
Sadly it would not be a winning occasion for Rath with Titans going down 28-12 – although the 22-year-old, who can also play full back, could not help but reflect on his own personal achievement.
The Doncaster-born player missed part of pre-season with another niggle. But after getting the nod from head coach Mark Jones to start, he is hoping his injury problems are behind him.
“I waited a long time for my first start and battled through a few injuries, including a hernia operation” he said. “I was coming to the end of pre-season and then picked up another injury which kept me out of the start of the season. But it’s good to be given my chance and to be fit again. I was not massively nervous, just excited to play in the team. It was good to get the early try to settle me down a bit but I didn’t really have to do much for the try, Sean deserves the credit for his break, I just crossed the line. Everyone has been really supportive to me, so I’m thankful. Now I’ve just got to work on my consistency and just see how it goes.”
The winger - whose side host Moseley this weekend, lists his work rate and footwork as his key strengths – although it is the performances of the entire team which he is most concerned with. “We’ve seen this season that anyone can beat anyone as was demonstrated with Bedford beating Bristol,” he said.
“It was disappointing not to get the win against Bristol ourselves as we thought we could have beaten them.
“It’s been a bit of a mixed season so far but we want to try and push on as a team and try and get into that top four.”
* The 2015/16 Greene King IPA Championship kicked off on September 5th. To stay up-to-date with all the latest action from across the league, follow @Champrugby on Twitter