Swatkins comes to the rescue

INFLUENTIAL fly–half Juan Pablo Socino scored all the points as the Titans returned to winning ways with a one point victory over Cornish Pirates at Clifton Lane.

But it was the heroics of replacement back Peter Swatkins that saved the day after Rotherham threatened to throw away a commanding lead, instead holding out for a 19-18 win.

Although the visitors had more possession in the first half they struggled to score, and instead conceded several penalties with Socino kicking four goals to help his side to a 12-0 lead at half time.

He continued his man of the match performance with a try shortly after play resumed, and the conversion put the Titans 19-0 ahead but thoughts of continuing their dominance were short lived for Rotherham.

The visitors chipped away with a penalty from Dan Cook, and shortly after play resumed Adam Kettle raced away virtually the full length of the pitch after an interception close to the line and they looked set to go 26-0 ahead.

However, the referee pulled play back for offside as Rotherham broke away and the Pirates kicked the resulting penalty which narrowed the scoreline to 19-6.

The game was set for a thrilling final few minutes following a 73rd minute try from former Doncaster winger Wes Davies which Cook converted to cut Rotherham’s lead to 19-13.

Cornish Pirates were awarded a penalty try after the Titans were penalised for collapsing a scrum.

But despite the conversion being in front of the posts, Cook took too long over the kick and Swatkins saved the day, swatting the kick away as he charged out from under the posts to make sure his side held a narrow lead.

Deep in injury time the Pirates thought they had done enough when they crashed over deep in injury time, but the referee blew for a knock on and the score went begging, much to the relief of the Rotherham faithful.

The victory provided the Titans with a five point cushion from the final relegation play off place.

They return to British and Irish Cup action this weekend with a trip to Pontypridd on Saturday before London Welsh visit Clifton Lane next Wednesday.