Rotherham Titans 30 Doncaster Knights 23: Match analysis

Curtis Wilson burts through to score for Rotherham. Photo: Glenn Ashley
Curtis Wilson burts through to score for Rotherham. Photo: Glenn Ashley

Titans and Knights produced another enthralling derby that was a credit to the commitment and attitude of both teams.

Rotherham’s narrow win took them to sixth in the Championship with 12 points from four league games. Doncaster’s losing bonus point saw them drop to seventh, also on 12 points.

Rotherham’s seventh consecutive league victory against their rivals was determined in the fifth minute of injury time, and their winning score was achieved in thrilling style by winger Curtis Wilson who scored his second try of the game.

With Doncaster cut to 14 men only after forward Ollie Stedman had been sin binned for a high tackle on Wilson, Rotherham, who survived two yellow cards, used the penalty sensibly.

They kicked for the attacking line out and once the ball had been won, they executed perfectly a planned move; replacement scrum half Andy Davies passed inside to Wilson whose destructive pace split Doncaster’s defence.

His match winning try was a devastating blow to Doncaster who were drawing 23 all going into injury time; earlier they had had also scored two tries by flanker Latu Makaafi and second row forward Matt Challinor to match Rotherham’s by centre Will Owen and Wilson.

The game featured too many penalties which allowed the teams’ goal kickers to demonstrate their skills.Rotherham fly half Tom Barrett finished with 15 vital points: three conversions, two penalties and a skilful drop goal putting the Titans 20-14 in front.

But Doncaster’s goal kicker, Dougie Flockhart, one of the best in the Championship, will still be wondering how he missed a possible match-winning kick on 77 minutes that would have put his team ahead by three points.

Flockhart had earlier struck successful penalties on 65 and 72 minutes that levelled the score at 23-23.

As Wilson explained, his second try had been well planned:

“We’d been practising the move all week, but I’m not going to give the details away. All I will say is that we put in a lot of hard work and it paid off.”

Rotherham tries: Wilson 2, Owen.Conversions:Barrett 3. Penalties: Barrett: 2.Drop goal: Barrett.

Doncaster tries: Makaafi, Challinor. Conversions: Flockhart 2. Penalties: Flockhart 2. Drop goal: Field.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon,J. Hayes, J.Davies, Owen, Wilson, Barrett, White, Hislop, C.Maddison, Tampin, Holmes, B.Maddison, Argyle, Calladine, Cree. Replacements: Harris, Williams, Thiede, Oram, Birch, A.Davies, L.Hayes.

Doncaster Knights:Edgerley, Flockhart, Clark, Burrell, Lewis, Heaney, Field, Bergmanas, Hunter, Quigley, Challinor, Hotson, Makaafi, Hills, Stedman. Replacements: Stagg, Sproston, John, Young, Shaw, Sharp, Wigglesworth.