Match report: Bedford Blues 17 Rotherham Titans 16

Rotherham Titans
Rotherham Titans

Rotherham produced a fighting and encouraging performance to fully deserved their losing bonus point from the narrow defeat at Bedford.

Reinforced by five new dual registered players from Premiership club Gloucester, the Titans defended solidly, especially in the second half when Bedford were prevented from adding a single point.

Rotherham began as the stronger as winger Jack Hayes scored on 14 minutes and with fly half Will Robinson putting over a conversion and two penalties, the Titans were the equal of Bedford and just as enterprising.

While Bedford scored two tries through winger Dean Adamson and hooker Jacob Fields to put them in front by 17-10, Rotherham’s spirit in the pouring rain was maintained from start to finish.

The five Gloucester players – backs Tom Hudson and Lloyd Evans and forwards Josh McNulty, Joe Batley and Freddie Clarke – all contributed effectively and should go on to play prominent roles during this campaign.

But the one player who stood out was full back Will Goodwin who came close to scoring a thrilling try in the first half following a devastating break out of defence.

However with no one in support, Goodwin was unable to pass the ball before he was tackled just short of the Bedford line.

Mid-way through the second period in a close and highly competitive contest, Rotherham did land some points which their resolve justified. Robinson’s third penalty cut Bedford’s lead to just one point.

The Titans did not create any more scoring chances, but their stubborn defence stopped Bedford breaking through for a third try.

Rotherham Titans: Goodwin, Thomas, Hudson, Owen, Hayes, Robinson, Dudman, Tom Williams, Graham, Herriott, Normandale, Hicks, Clarke, Grange, MacDonald.

Reps: Maddison, Toby Williams, McNulty, Batley, Sanderson, Tresidder, Evans.

Scorers: Try: Hayes. Conversion: Robinson. Penalties: Robinson 3.

Referee: Greg Macdonald.