Rotherham Titans suffered an awful day at the office as an uninspired performance saw them get punished by a rampant London Scottish side in a crushing 49-14 defeat.
The Exiles ran in seven tries to Titans two, with the South Yorkshire side lacking the urgency and intensity which has been their trademark since the turn of the year.
Rotherham trailed from the off as Scottish raced into an 18-0 lead inside the opening 24 minutes, with tries from centre Ben Mosses and prop forward Dino Waldren; veteran fly half Jake Sharp added 2 penalties and a conversion.
Rotherham eventually worked themselves into the game and were rewarded for their efforts when tight head Andrew Foster crashed over from close range after a period of forward dominance from the Titans pack. Ryan added the extras.
Minutes later however the home side added a third try when prop Waldren barged his way over for his second dot down of the game, Sharp’s successful conversion extended the Exiles lead to 25-7.
As half time approached Titans enjoyed what would be their best period of the game as they camped themselves close to the hosts line. The Scottish scrum buckled on four separate occasions with each time referee Sara Cox awarding Titans a penalty.
Eventually the referee awarded Rotherham a penalty try, but surprisingly no yellow card followed. Nevertheless Titans went in at the break trailing 25-14 and somewhat rejuvenated for the second 40.
It was vital Rotherham scored the first points after the restart if a comeback was to be a realistic option; unfortunately for them this wasn’t the case as on 47 minutes big second rower Tjiuee Uanivi bulldozed his way over for his sides bonus point try.
Galvanised and full of confidence, Scottish upped their game further and pretty much dominated proceedings for the rest of the match as they ran in another three tries through full back Joe Luca Smith, left winger Charlie Ingall and right winger Matt Williams to secure a deserved and convincing victory.
Speaking after the game Titans Nic Rouse explained, “Today’s performance wasn’t a reflection of how we’ve been since January; it was pretty poor today. I said before the game we need to take them on and there was a big opportunity to take them on up front and it took us until the 25th minute before we got our first penalty. We talk about it beforehand and then we don’t do it.
“We came into the game confident of getting the result and the way we have been playing the last few weeks against the top sides gave us the confidence to come here and get the win, but I don’t think we really turned up and that’s very disappointing.
“We had good preparation coming into this one and I know the boys are going to be disappointed because they’ll feel they have let themselves down and that will hurt them. I think we needed to score first after the break, but we didn’t and we weren’t great today to be honest.
“Maybe the season has taken its toll on us with the small squad we have, but that’s an excuse and I don’t want to start looking for excuses.
“I don’t really want to have a go at the boys because they have worked really hard for me and I back them 100%. We now need to pick ourselves up for a big game next week against Carnegie, because if we turn up for that one the way we did today then we are going to get a hiding.
“But we are back at home for a massive Yorkshire derby and we want to put in a performance that we and our supporters can be proud of.”
Referee: Sara Cox
Yellow Card: Henry (Titans)
Titans: Foster (T), Pen Try, Ryan (1C)
London Scottish: Waldren (2T), Mosses (T), Uanivi (T), Smith (T), Ingall (T), Williams (T), Sharp (2P, 4C),
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Ben Foley (Millar H-T), 13 Jamie Cooke, 12 Joe Barker (Hamilton 58), 11 Jake Henry, 10 Caolan Ryan, 9 Rhodri Davies (Vieira 65), 1 Toby Williams (Tom Williams 60), 2 Luke Cole, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Rob Louw, 5 Adam Peters, 6 Dan Grange (Burns H-T), 7 Charlie Maddison, 8 Tom Calladine (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 Tom Burns, 20 Wesley Hamilton, 21 Lee Millar, 22 Francisco Vieira.
London Scottish: 15 Joe Luca Smith, 14 Matt Williams, 13 Ross Neal, 12 Ben Mosses, 11 Charlie Ingall, 10 Jake Sharp (Atkins 61), 9 Alex Walker (Hoadley 55), 1 Derrick Appiah (Harris 55), 2 Isaac Miller (George 55), 3 Dino Waldren (Cringle 55), 4 Ed Milne, 5 Tjiuee Uanivi (Curry 49), 6 Joe Atkinson, 7 Chris Walker (Eliet 69), 8 Danny Kenny (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Jonny Harris, 18 Phil Cringle, 19 Oli Curry, 20 Matt Eliet, 21 Ed Hoadley, 22 Jacob Atkins.