Titans’ target after defeat

THE TITANS were targeting two home wins in February’s first week after they slipped to a horror result at one of their weakest Championship rivals.

Rotherham’s away record still stands at one win for the season after they fell to a surprising 23-19 defeat at Esher.

Victory over rock bottom Birmingham and Solihull at Castle Park last night was imperative for the Titans to avoid slipping into the relegation play–off places.

And beating South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster at home on Saturday will be an expected bonus which would put Rotherham in the driving seat for a top eight finish.

But there is the matter of first contending with the recovery from the Esher defeat, where they let slip a 10 point advantage in the last 20 minutes.

With the bottom four from 12 teams going into a relegation play-off at the end of the season, Rotherham will need to up their game if they are to avoid that competition and instead compete for the Championship crown.

Esher drew first blood with full-back Sam Ulph kicking a penalty after just six minutes, but their lead didn’t last long as Rotherham second row James Sandford touched down.

And shortly after on 19 minutes stand-off Juan Pablo Socino jinked through for a try he converted himself to put the Titans 3-12 ahead.

But Ulph’s boot proved crucial on the day, and he added penalties on 31 and 50 minutes to bring Esher back to just 9-12 behind.

Rotherham gave themselves some breathing space four minutes later when right winger Jonny Hampsey touched down and Socino added the conversion to put the Titans 9-19 ahead – but these were to prove their final points of the match.

Prop David Millard crashed over on the hour mark and Ulph converted, and the same pair combined again on 74 minutes to put Esher into a 23-19 lead.

Rotherham battled on for a way back into the game, but had to settle for a losing bonus point.

The Titans welcome Doncaster at 2pm on Saturday.