Rotherham Titans suffered a disappointing derby day defeat, as they crashed 47-11 to Yorkshire Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship at the Emerald Headingley Stadium.
The defeat leaves Rotherham still searching for their first league success after 11 games as they remain bottom of the table at the half way mark in the Championship.
Overall Titans will be disappointed with their performance, particularly in the first half where they appeared to be second best in most departments.
Carnegie dominated for most of the first 40 minutes as they crossed the white wash five times, four of which came direct from driving mauls, with the fifth coming via a driving maul.
Titans had taken the lead after just 3 minutes when fly half Lee Millar nicely converted a penalty. However, the hosts soon settled into the game and within 2 minutes nosed themselves ahead when loose head prop Marc Thomas crashed over from the tail of a maul close to the Titans line.
Carnegie’s advantage was stretched on 12 minutes when following a powerful driving maul the ball came out and was quickly fed to the backs. A cheeky grubber-kick followed which caught out the Titans defence, allowing Pete Lucock to chase through to dot down.
Carnegie’s hooker Joe Buckle then helped himself to a brace of tries as again the home maul drove over the Rotherham line. Sandwiched in between Titans scored a good try through winger Ben Foley after a brief period of possession in the hosts half.
Just after the half hour mark Lee Millar reduced the Titans arrears to 26-11 after he nailed a superb long-range penalty.
However, normal service was resumed by the hosts just before the break when Captain Richard Mayhew crashed over the line from another Carnegie driving maul.
Rotherham improved their performance in the second period, but not enough to make a significant impact on the overall score line.
Early in the second half Carnegie full back Chris Elder went over for a well taken backs try and midway through hooker Joe Buckle secured his hat trick when again from the tail of a driving maul he was on hand to dot down.
Rotherham finished well and had lots of territory and possession and often found themselves deep inside the hosts 22. However, credit to Carnegie; each and every time they found themselves under threat they managed to repel the Titans and keep their line intact.
Speaking post-match a disappointed Andy Key reflected, “We can take some solace from our second half performance; it was a performance which allowed us to put a little bit of pride back into the side, but we can’t start games in the manner we did.
“In the very early stages we actually played quite well, our kicking game was good, we were playing territory quite well and we scored 3 points to take the lead.
“But then it’s the consequences of some of our mistakes, and we saw today nearly everything that they got came off our mistakes. So that’s hugely disappointing, because to go in at half time 33-11 down is embarrassing.
“I was more pleased with our second half display; but unfortunately we’re still looking at a loss and we still shipped 47 points overall.
“Our defence of the driving maul was also disappointing; when you play Carnegie you know that’s what they’re going to do, so we’re disappointed at allowing them to get into those positions and then in how we deal with it when it came.
“Frustratingly, our defence in both halves at times was excellent, it’s just the guys have to understand that’s what we have to do to succeed in this particular league and it’s not about just doing it now and again.
“So as a group we are all hugely disappointed, but we’ll be back at training next week and we’ll dust ourselves down and we’ll get on with it again.”
Referee: Dean Richards
Yellow Card: James Thraves (Carnegie)
Titans: Foley (T), Millar (2P)
Yorkshire Carnegie: Buckle (3T), Thomas (T), Lucock (T), Mayhew (T), Elder (T), Homer (6C)
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Wesley Hamilton, 13 Drew Cheshire, 12 Logan Tibbetts, 11 Ben Foley (Cooke 70), 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Toby Williams (Tom Williams 59), 2 Luke Cole (Murphy 59), 3 Matt Shields (Palmer 61), 4 Matt Postlethwaite (Burns 67), 5 Byron Hodge (Lasis h-t), 6 Tom Calladine (Capt.), 7 Charlie Maddison, 8 Adam Peters.
Replacements: 16 Jonny Murphy, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 James Lasis, 20 Tom Burns, 21 Jamie Cooke, 22 Francisco Vieira.
Yorkshire Carnegie: 15 Chris Elder, 14 George Watkins (Beech 71) (Watkins 74), 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Tom Casson (Burdon 44), 11 Louis Brown (Atkins 59), 10 Pete Lucock, 9 Will Homer, 1 Marc Thomas (Capps 73), 2 Joe Buckle (Newborn 75), 3 Charlie Beech (Thraves 61), 4 Jack Whetton (Bainbridge 52), 5 Mike Myerscough, 6 Richard Beck, 7 Richard Mayhew (Capt.), 8 Ollie Stedman (West 52).
Replacements: 16 Harry Newborn, 17 Charlie Capps, 18 James Thraves, 19 Ben West, 20 Josh Bainbridge, 21 Fred Burdon, 22 Darren Atkins.