Rotherham’s high error count and a lack of discipline saw them fall to a disappointing 28-22 defeat against a rugged Birmingham Moseley side at a wet and windy Billesley Common.
Rotherham did however collect a bonus point for their 6 point loss and will look to get back to winning ways this week at home to Sale FC.
There were periods where Rotherham looked the better side, but a lack of discipline ultimately lead to their downfall, as Moseley cashed in with four driving maul tries through hooker Adam Caves.
Titans actually made a bright opening and quickly raced into a 10-0 lead following a Dan Leake try and a penalty and conversion from Alex Dolly.
However, Moseley’s pack of forwards reduced the arrears on 12 minutes when hooker Adam Caves crashed over from the tail of a maul close to the line.
Titans’ Dolly and Moseley’s James Williams then traded penalties before Caves bulldozed his way over again to level the scores at 13 apiece.
The game began to form a pattern where Rotherham tried to play some rugby, whilst the home side appeared to be content with their pack keeping the ball close as they rumbled around the park.
Three minutes before the break Dolly added his third penalty for Rotherham from in front of the sticks as Moseley’s slow retreat saw them pinned for being offside.
However, the final play of the half saw Caves secure his hat trick try from another driving maul close to the Titans line to send the hosts in at the break 18-16 to the good.
With the game finely balanced the first score of the second period would be vital; unfortunately for Rotherham Adam Caves scored his fourth try of the game from a maul just two minutes in, with Williams adding the conversion to stretch the home sides lead to 25-16.
To be fair Rotherham never stopped working hard as they tried to claw their way back into the game and this they did when either side of the hour mark Alex Dolly struck two fine penalties to reduce the arrears to 25-22 with 14 minutes remaining.
Both sides defended well in the final quarter as each team pushed for victory. However, in the final play of the game Moseley won a penalty at a scrum inside the Titans 22 and Williams nailed the conversion to end matters.
Commenting post-game Titans Joe Barker explained, “It was a disappointing result and there’s no doubt about that, but other than in the driving mauls I thought we were defensively strong. The only way they got into our half was through our poor discipline and our errors. We gave away far too many penalties which gave them field position and they used their maul to good effect.
“I think our decision makers, our 9, 10 and 15 controlled our kicking game very well and I think we dominated both halves in terms of that.
“However, if you can’t hold your discipline, scrums and mauls then you are going to find it hard to win games of rugby and these are areas that we have to sort out.
“It wasn’t a game for the purists and the weather conditions didn’t make it easy for either side. We have a young squad here, but they’re going to have to learn and learn quickly and we are going to have to sort it out at training.
“More than half the tries we have conceded this season have come via the driving maul and that’s an area we obviously need to sort out. We knew coming into the game we had a light back five as all four of our second rows are injured. But I can’t complain in terms of the boy’s effort, but sometimes weight wins when you’re in the row.”
Referee: Matt Turvey
Yellow Card: Baffour-Awuah (Moseley)
Titans: Leake (T), Dolly (5P, 1C)
Birmingham Moseley: Caves (4T), Williams (2P, 1C)
Titans: 15 Alex Dolly, 14 Dan Leake (Cooke 34), 13 Harry Dunne, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Henry Roberts, 10 Callum Irvine, 9 Connor Dever, 1 Jack Bergmanas (Richardson 53), 2 Ali Thomson, 3 Rikki Stout (Dickinson 63), 4 Anton Petrowitsch, 5 Tom Cotterill (Preston-Routledge 63), 6 Luis Ball, 7 Zak Poole, 8 Seb Nagle-Taylor (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Dan Richardson, 17 Antony Dickinson, 18 Will Dennis, 19 Dan Preston-Routledge, 20 Jamie Cooke.
Birmingham Moseley: 15 Sam Hollingsworth, 14 Charles Baffour-Awuah, 13 Oliver Allsopp, 12 Sam Hayward, 11 Sam Atkin, 10, James Williams, 9 Rob Lewis (Capt.) (Pointon 61), 1 Tom Fidler (Tyack 76), 2 Adam Caves, 3 Jay Tyack (Boyce 60), 4 Buster Lawrence, 5 Lewis Bean, 6 Laurence Cowen, 7 Josh Poole, 8 Chris Brightwell (Le Roux 61).
Replacements: 16 Jamie White, 17 Jonah Boyce, 18 Jacques Le Roux, 19 Sam Smith, 20 Sam Pointon.