Rotherham Titans finished off their Championship season with a disappointing 38-5 defeat to Nottingham under the lights at Lady Bay.
The final-day defeat brought a long, difficult season to a close for the South Yorkshire side which saw them win just 2 Championship games and as a result they will ply their trade in National Division One next year, as they aim to bounce back at the first attempt.
The game itself had few positives for Rotherham as the home side played with lots of energy and zest, as they looked to put on a show for their supporters in their final home game of the season.
Inside the opening 15 minutes Nottingham raced into a 14-0 lead after two converted tries from centre Gearoid Lyons and winger Jack Spittle.
The second quarter of the game was Titans best as they enjoyed significant periods of dominance, particularly at scrum time. During this spell Titans got on the scoreboard when a powerful driving maul was finished off by back rower Tom Burns on 21 minutes.
However, despite Titans worthy efforts to add to their tally in the first half, the hosts defended with great resilience to keep them at bay. Indeed just before the break it was the Green and Whites that scored next when Tiff Eden knocked over a penalty from just outside the Titans 22.
Coming out for the second half and trailing 17-5, the Titans needed to score first if they were to give themselves a chance of ending the season with a victory.
Those hopes were dashed within 4 minutes when Nottingham centre Will Millett darted through for his side’s third try of the match.
From then on a confident home side controlled the game and added two further tries through prop Tom West and late on through former Titan Ben Morris.
A reflective Nic Rouse commented post-match, “The game kind of summed up our season; we looked like the side that played on Tuesday night, but fair play to them they controlled the game and stopped us playing. We did have a bit of dominance in the first half but we didn’t make the most of that period.
“We were still in the game at half time, but unfortunately they scored early in the second half and it was difficult for us thereafter. It was their last home game and they wanted to send some boys off with the win before they move on. They were really up for it in front of their fans the way we were against Carnegie and they deserved the win.
“It was my last game and it would have been great to go out with the win, but that wasn’t to be. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Rotherham and have met some great people at the club and I’ll take away a lot of fond memories. The results didn’t go our way, but I think since Christmas the boys have made a good fist of it.”
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR)
Yellow Card: Hooper (Nottingham), Foster & Calladine (Titans)
Titans: Burns (T)
Nottingham: Lyons (T), Spittle (T), Millett (T), West (T), Morris (T), Eden (4C, P), Hakalo (1C)
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Drew Cheshire, 13 Jamie Cooke, 12 Lee Millar, 11 Jake Henry (Foley 52), 10 Caolan Ryan (Hamilton 67), 9 Rhodri Davies (Vieira 67), 1 Toby Williams (Tom Williams 56), 2 Luke Cole (Dolly 64), 3 Andrew Foster (Palmer 75), 4 Rob Louw, 5 Adam Peters, 6 Tom Burns, 7 Dan Grange, 8 Tom Calladine (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 Joe Barker, 20 Ben Foley, 21 Wesley Hamilton, 22 Francisco Vieira.
Nottingham: 15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Jack Spittle, 13 Will Millett, 12 Gearoid Lyons, 11 Billy Robinson, 10 Tiff Eden (Hakalo 56), 9 Darryl Veenendaal (McConnell 64), 1 Tom West (Sio 61), 2 Jimmy Stevens (Brownlie 55), 3 Ben Hooper (Hall 52), 4 Tim Cardall, 5 Ben Morris, 6 Jordan Coghlan (Cecil 67), 7 Matt Everard (Capt.), 8 Josh Poullet (Buckley 55).
Replacements: 16 Ben Brownlie, 17 Aniseko Sio, 18 James Hall, 19 Seb Cecil, 20 Shane Buckley, 21 Murray McConnell, 22 Vili Hakalo.