Titans beaten by local rivals

Rotherham Titans are still looking for their first points of the season after suffering a disappointing 44-0 loss to fierce local rivals Doncaster Knights who ran in 6 unanswered tries at Castle Park.

The match was the 25th league game between the sides, but the first in which either side has failed to register a score.

From the start Doncaster imposed themselves on the Titans. Within 2 minutes following a powerful drive, which saw the hosts rumble in excess of 40 metres up to the Titans line, Michael Heaney broke before subsequently back rower Alex Shaw barged over for the first score.

Heaney was in the thick of the action again shortly after, when following more impressive work from the Knights pack he picked up from the base to snipe over for his sides second score on 11 minutes.

Rotherham managed to steady the ship somewhat and enjoyed a period of possession, but all too often found penetrating the hosts defence a difficult challenge.

Doncaster eventually bounced back and in between two Simon Humberstone penalties, centre Andy Bulumakau raced over for Knights third dot down to send his side in at the break 25-0 to the good.

The second period saw the hosts continue to pressure Rotherham from the start and five minutes in they secured the bonus point try when fly half Simon Humberstone weaved his way over the whitewash.

Before the hour mark Knights extended their advantage when Andy Bulumakau raced over for his second try and to round off a disappointing derby afternoon for Rotherham, Junior Bulumakau added a sixth try in added time.

Reflecting post-match Rotherham’s Andy Key said, "We need to have faith in what we're trying to do will bring success," adding, "We proved that in pre-season against some good sides.

"Against Doncaster we stood off a bit at times when we needed to pile in. We were waiting to see what happens rather than reacting beforehand and as a result too many times we found ourselves on the back foot and it became tough work.

"Then in the second half we started to pick up two or three injuries and make replacements we might not have wanted to do at that particular time, but that's the game.

"Our set piece scrum continues to go OK but our lineout struggled a bit. We missed some first-up tackles which put us on the back foot.

"It wasn't good enough by any stretch of the imagination. We allowed Doncaster to dictate the contact area, there were too many turnovers and silly mistakes in crucial areas, whether under pressure or when we were starting to create it. We went through three or four phases at times and then all of a sudden we go and make mistakes. 

"I do think there is a lot more about our team than the score line suggests but if we continue (in that way) then other sides will think they can do us just on frailty."

"I take my hat off to Jake Henry. I thought he stood up and really showed exactly what was required, either on the front carrying or in defence and credit to the lad."

Referee: Ian Tempest

Attendance: 1,389

Yellow Card: None


Doncaster: Andy Bulumakau (2T), Shaw (T), Heaney (T), Junior Bulumakau (T), Humberstone (T, 2P, 3C), Cusack (1C)

Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Jake Henry, 13 Luke Peters, 12 Joe Barker (Loizias 61), 11 Drew Cheshire, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Toby Williams (Lasis 78 HIA), 2 Luke Cole (Murphy 54), 3 Matt Shields (Foster 66), 4 James Lasis (A Peters 45), 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Dan Grange, 7 Tom Calladine (Capt.) (Tom Williams 66), 8 Ifereimi Boladau (Burns 53).

Replacements: 16 Jonny Murphy, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Adam Peters, 20 Tom Burns, 21 Francisco Vieira, 22 Yiannis Loizias.

Doncaster Knights: 15 Charlie Foley, 14 Junior Bulumakau, 13 Andy Bulumakau, 12 Will Owen, 11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Simon Humberstone (Cusack 59), 9 Michael Heaney (James 54), 1 Richard List (Bergmanas 50), 2 Ben Hunter (Nelson 58), 3 Colin Quigley (Sproston 69), 4 Matt Challinor, 5 Tom Hicks (Eames 55), 6 Alex Shaw, 7 Michael Hills (Capt.), 8 Aaron Carpenter (Hill 54).

Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Jack Bergmanas, 18 Joe Sproston, 19 Morgan Eames, 20 Jason Hill, 21 Tom James, 22 Declan Cusack.

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