Rotherham Titans began their Greene King Championship campaign with a disappointing home defeat as they went down 46-10 to a highly-competitive Nottingham side.
Although deserved winners, the score line slightly flattered the visitors as Rotherham made a couple of silly mistakes to gift the Green & Whites two tries.
Indeed Rotherham enjoyed the better of the first 30 minutes as they led 10-5 following a superb Drew Cheshire try, with fly half Lee Millar adding a penalty and a conversion to Nottingham’s Ben Brownlie touchdown on 16 minutes.
Unfortunately for the hosts on 34 minutes, a miss-pass on their own line resulted in Tiff Eden collecting to dive over for an easy try. He then he dusted himself down to knock over the extras to nudge Nottingham ahead and before half time arrived Eden added to his tally with a neatly taken drop goal and with the last kick of the half he slotted over a penalty to send the visitors in with an 18-10 lead.
Despite Titans best endeavours, which were full of spirit and effort in the second half; it was Nottingham who demonstrated what a good side they are by running in four converted tries, as the Titans were unable to add to their score.
Former Titans Ben Morris and Sean Scanlon would have enjoyed crossing the whitewash; Ben Brownlie’s second try was sandwiched in between and replacement front rower Jacob Farnworth put the cherry on top late on as he scored Nottingham’s sixth try of the match.
Commenting afterwards Titans Andy Key said, “It’s certainly not the result we were looking for by any stretch, but I do think there were a lot of positives that we can take from the game. Certainly the way we attacked at times as we got ourselves onto the front foot, but I have to take my hat off to Nottingham as they have a very organised defence.
“In this modern game, if you get your defence right you are part way to winning games and I think that’s where we came a little bit unstuck today. Nottingham’s defence and energy levels in stopping us I thought was the decider.
“We put ourselves under unnecessary pressure by trying things when probably we shouldn’t have done. We gave them two silly tries, one in each half; so when you’re doing that and making some mistakes you’re not helping yourself.
“We are a young side and we’re only into our fourth game including pre-season and I know the boys are really disappointed; I think our energy levels and our fitness levels show there is more to come. A few things here and there can be the difference between the game being a lot closer than what it was today.”
Referee: Michael Hudson
Yellow Card: None
Titans: Cheshire (T), Millar (P, C)
Nottingham: Brownlie (2T), Morris (T), Scanlon (T), Farnworth (T), Eden (T, P, 5C, D-G)
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Yiannis Loizias (Henry 62), 13 Luke Peters, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Drew Cheshire, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies (Vieira 68), 1 Toby Williams (Tom Williams 62), 2 Luke Cole (Maddison 59), 3 Matt Shields (Foster 59), 4 Rob Louw (Lasis 30), 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Dan Grange (Burns 68), 7 Tom Calladine (Capt.), 8 Ifereimi Boladau.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 James Lasis, 20 Tom Burns, 21 Francisco Vieira, 22 Jake Henry.
Nottingham: 15 Sean Scanlon, 14 Billy Robinson, 13 Oli Evans, 12 Gearoid Lyons (Hakalo 60), 11 Jack Spittle, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Murray McConnell (Veenendaal 54), 1 Tom West (Sio 57), 2 Ben Brownlie (Farnworth 62), 3 Ben Hooper (Burke 24), 4 Tom Holmes (Everard 57), 5 Danny Qualter, 6 Ben Morris (Capt.), 7 Jordan Coghlan, 8 Josh Poullet (Buckley 40).
Replacements: 16 Jacob Farnworth, 17 Aniseko Sio, 18 Rory Burke, 19 Shane Buckley, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Darryl Veenendaal, 22 Vili Hakalo.