Rugby Union: Super away show keeps Titans in Cup

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Plymouth Albion 3

Rotherham Titans 21

Rotherham’s best away performance in recent seasons was spoiled by a serious knee injury to hooker Dan Baines who may have played his last game of the campaign.

Baines, scorer of Rotherham’s first try was carried off after 30 minutes.

The Titans’ forward, only recently back from injury, will be seen by doctors today to assess the damage.

The win over a strong and competitive Plymouth keeps alive Titans’ chances of reaching the quarter-finals of the British and Irish Cup.

Much will depend on this Saturday’s game against Aberavon at Clifton Lane and Munster’s match in Cork against Plymouth on Friday.

Rotherham’s win, during which they scored three converted tries by Baines, fly half Garry Law and replacement hooker Ted Stagg, delighted coach Alex Codling: “This was an immense performance; a tremendous display of how to play wet weather rugby.

“Our ball control, discipline and defence were great.

“A decent Plymouth side hardly ever came into our 22 and we showed a fantastic reaction from the defeat by Nottingham last Saturday.

“I am also thrilled because we are still in the Cup. We wanted to compete seriously in this competition and we have with three wins in five. And with one to go, who knows what will happen?”

Rotherham’s pack outplayed their opponents and Codling was highly satisfied with the efforts of all his players, but two forwards, who were coming back from injury, lock Dan Sanderson and No 8 Rory Pitman, made impressive contributions.

Titans led 7-3 at the interval and then strengthened their control by the addition of two more tries, as before converted by Law.

Going into the match, coaches Codling and Lee Blackett had worked on the scrums, line outs and defence.

The squad reacted positively and the plan bore fruit because Rotherham’s set pieces were a big success and strong tackling prevented Albion from crossing the line.

This wins moves Rotherham into second place in Pool 7. They now have 15 points.

Munster remain top on 19 points from their five games.Aberavon, Rotherham’s opposition on Saturday, stay bottom on only three points from five successive defeats.

On another positive note Irish centre Eamonn Sheridan, who was dazed during the Nottingham game, is recovering well.

Titans: F Mulchrone, Doneghan, Gill, Nonu, Homan, Law, C Mulchrone, Kilbane, Baines (Stagg 30), Denman, Thomas, Sanderson, Rieder, Ellyatt, Pitman.

Tries: Baines, Law, Stagg; conversions: Law 3.

Referee: Tom Foley.