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Report: Rotherham Titans 16-24 Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby booked their place in the Championship final with a 24-16 victory over Rotherham Titans at Abbeydale.

Andy Robinson’s men – who touched down twice in the second half through Marco Mama and Jack Tovey – finished the two legged affair with a twenty point aggregate win.

Gavin Henson saw a penalty goal attempt sail wide of the upright inside five minutes as Bristol applied the early pressure.

The centre struck a three pointer soon after to nudge the visitors ahead, but Tom Barrett cancelled the advantage out with a penalty of his own.

Jamie Broadley and Ross McMillan both came close to touching down, before Barrett’s second penalty goal put Rotherham ahead at 6-3.

And, after Michael Keating had galloped clear and won his side a penalty, Barrett added a further penalty goal to stretch the hosts’ lead.

Henson’s second penalty moved the score to 9-6 before the interval to give Bristol a nine point aggregate advantage at half-time.

Rotherham started the second half in determined fashion and posted the first try of the afternoon as Jamie Broadley snaffled up a loose pass to race over in the corner for a converted try.

Henson’s penalty goal kept Andy Robinson’s men in touch, before the superb Marco Mama capitalized on Dwayne Peel’s dart blind to fly over in the corner for an unconverted score.

After Tom Barrett and Gavin Henson both skewed penalty goal attempts, Bristol suffered an injury blow as Mama left the field on a stretcher.

Almost immediately following the break in play, replacement centre Jack Tovey collected Matthew Morgan’s inside pass to canter in under the posts for a converted score, putting Bristol 16-21 ahead.

Henson’s penalty goal late on put the visitors in control and sealed Bristol’s place in the Championship final.

Rotherham Titans:

Sean Scanlon; Jamie Broadley, Lloyd Hayes, Jordan Davies, Michael Keating, Tom Barrett, Andy Davies, Robin Hislop, Tom Cruse (c), Mark Tampin, Barney Maddison, Sean Robinson, Alex Rieder, Ali Birch, Ben Morris.

Replacements: Jack Preece (for Ben Morris, 72 mins), Toby Williams (for Robin Hislop, 78 mins), Lewis Thiede (for Mark Tampin, 78 mins), Ben Thomas (for Barney Maddison, 72 mins), Max Argyle (for Ali Birch, 78 mins), Dan White (for Andy Davies, 78 mins), Jack Roberts (for Jordan Davies, 62 mins).

Bristol Rugby:

Jack Wallace; David Lemi, Gareth Maule, Gavin Henson, Charlie Amesbury; Nicky Robinson, Dwayne Peel (c); Kyle Traynor, Ross McMillan, Gaston Cortes, Glen Townson, Mark Sorenson, Marco Mama, Jack Lam, Ryan Jones.

Replacements: Chris Brooker (for Ross McMillan, 70 mins), Anthony Perenise (for Gaston Cortes, 48 mins), Ben Glynn (for Mark Sorenson, 66 mins), Olly Robinson (for Marco Mama, 71 mins), Tom Kessell (for Dwayne Peel, 78 mins), Matthew Morgan (for Nicky Robinson, 72 mins), Jack Tovey (for Gareth Maule, 43 mins).

Referee: Dean Richards