Rotherham Titans secured their first National League 1 win of the season as they deservedly ran out 29-12 winners over Rosslyn Park at Clifton Lane.
Titans put in an overall impressive performance, but it was full back Alex Dolly who caught the eye as he bagged 8 successful penalty kicks, to add to an early try from winger Henry Roberts.
Park’s points came way of a try in either half from back rowers Hugo Ellis and Arthur Ellis, with former Titan Greg Lound converting the former from out wide.
Titans might have been concerned early on when inside 2 minutes the visitors stormed into the lead from a catch and drive which saw Hugo Ellis barge over for a dot down.
However, just 5 minutes later and Rotherham crossed the whitewash themselves when winger Henry Roberts showed superb strength to power his way over the line from inside the 22 to touch down in the left corner.
Titans controlled much of what followed and almost had their second try on 18 minutes from a superb break by Seb Nagle-Taylor. Unfortunately the number 8 was dragged down a metre short and although he attempted to release the ball and go again, the referee pinned him and subsequently Nagle-Taylor spent 10 minutes in the bin.
Titans added two penalties before the break through Alex Dolly, which sent the home side in at the break 11-7 to the good.
Rotherham were keen to score the first points of the second half and this they did through Dolly’s third penalty of the game to stretch the lead to 7 points.
However, Park bounced back and on 54 minutes another catch and drive close to the Titans line resulted in flanker Arthur Ellis dotting down for his sides second try of the game. Lound’s conversion drifted just wide of the posts to leave his side 2 points adrift.
As the game progressed it was Rotherham who managed the game more effectively and as the pressure mounted on the visitors they yielded a relentless stream of penalties.
Inside the final 18 minutes Park gave away 5 penalties from all over the field and Alex Dolly stepped up on each occasion to conduct a masterclass of kicking from the tee to nail the lot and give Rotherham a worthy first win of the campaign.
Speaking immediately post-match, Titans head coach, Joe Barker, explained, “I knew our first win was just around the corner and what we did really well today was we stuck to our process of how we were going to play.
“In our first two games we were in those games for a period of time, but we made mistakes and went away from what we wanted to do, but today fair play to the lads they really stuck with it today.
“We asked them to play a certain plan and they stuck to it for the full 80 minutes and that’s why we were relentless and ruthless with our approach all game long.
“I was also pleased with our defence, our positivity and our motivation. We know we have good players here and I believe we are a good team and I think we showed that today in beating a good Rosslyn Park side.”
Referee: Matt Turvey
Yellow Card: Nagle-Taylor (Titans)
Titans: Roberts (T), Dolly (8P)
Rosslyn Park: H Ellis (T), A Ellis (T), Lound (1C)
Titans: 15 Alex Dolly, 14 Dan Leake, 13 Harry Dunne, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Henry Roberts, 10 Callum Irvine, 9 Connor Dever (Davey 77), 1 Jack Bergmanas, 2 Ali Thomson, 3 Rikki Stout, 4 Anton Petrowitsch, 5 Conor Keys (Preston-Routledge 58), 6 Luis Ball, 7 Zak Poole, 8 Seb Nagle-Taylor (Capt).
Replacements: 16 Dan Richardson, 17 Antony Dickinson, 18 Dan Preston-Routledge, 19 Harry Davey, 20 Jamie Cooke.
Rosslyn Park: 15 Henry Robinson, 14 Bam Fadahunsi, 13 Nicolas Nieto (Barnes 51), 12 Jordon Turner-Hall, 11 Neville Edwards, 10 Greg Lound, 9 Oli Grove, 1 Maurice Nwakor, 2 Tom Vaughan-Edwards (Hughes 65), 3 Paul Doran-Jones (Lovell 60), 4 Jonathan Mills, 5 Gregor Gillanders (Barnard 54), 6 Adam Frampton, 7 Arthur Ellis (Vaughan-Edwards 79), 8 Hugo Ellis (Gillanders 58).
Replacements: 16 Owen Hughes, 17 Nick Lovell, 18 Jack Barnard, 19 Aaron Booth, 20 Dan Barnes.