Titans hold on for vital win ahead of play-offs

THE Titans survived a game of two halves to hold out for a vital win which lands them in the ‘easier’ group for the promotion play–offs beginning next month.

Rotherham led 22-0 at half time at home to Bristol and managed to weather a ferocious fightback for the victory which sealed seventh place.

They will now meet Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates and local rivals Doncaster Knights in Pool B of the promotion play off.

All sides in the Championship will have been keen to avoid runaway leaders Worcester who lost just one league game this season.

Though head coach Andre Bester already has one eye on next season, Rotherham will be confident of making an impact in Pool B.

They were victorious over all three sides at home in the league but lost to all three on the road.

The play off campaign begins on March 12 with the visit of Bedford.

Bester is looking to push ahead with his recruitment plans for next season, including persuading those players he wishes to keep to sign on for another season,

Prop Rob O’Donnell will be one of those players after impressing with a solid return against Bristol.

The Titans had all the play in the first half with number eight Ryan Burrows scoring the opening minute and Juan Pablo Socino adding the conversion.

Winger Pete Swatkins added a second try five minutes later. And after Socino had kicked a 34th minute penalty, he was on target with the extras following centre Jonny Hepworth’s try on 39 minutes.

But after the break Bristol battled back with Watkins, Bradley Harris and Elliott all scoring tries, and Davies converting all of them to close to within one point of the Titans and cause a few anxious last moments for the Rotherham faithful.

But they managed to hang on to the whistle, defending effectively to keep Bristol out.

Rotherham will be looking to carry their fighting spirit into the play–offs but must first contend with their final group game of the British and Irish Cup at Birmingham and Solihull on Sunday at 3pm.

The clash is a dead rubber with neither side able to progress from the group.