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Report: Rotherham Titans 25-27 Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby returned to the top of the Greene King IPA Championship in nailbiting fashion, with a 27-25 defeat of Rotherham Titans.

The visitors clinched the bonus point with four tries as Jack Lam (2), Mitch Eadie and Matthew Morgan all crossed as Clifton Lane.

Rotherham had a chance to level proceedings with the last kick of the game, but James McKinney directed his conversion attempt wide of the upright.

Bristol started brightly and converted early pressure into points when Jack Lam burrowed over from close range from the back of a driving lineout.

The visitors were forced to defend for long periods of the first half, but repelled wave after wave of Rotherham attacks, before Matthew Morgan slotted a long-range penalty.

After Charlie Amesbury was helped from the field following a clash of heads, James McKinney struck two penalty goals in quick succession to reduce the deficit to 6-8.

In a tightly contested second half, Jack Tovey came within a whisker of touching down, before Jack Lam peeled off the back of a maul to fly over for his second of the afternoon.

Matthew Morgan added another Bristol try shortly after, rounding off a superbly worked attack to canter over from fifteen metres.

But Ross McMillan’s yellow card handed Rotherham the man advantage, and Alex Rieder seized the initiative, burrowing his way over under a pile of bodies for a converted score.

Mitch Eadie’s opportunist try secured the bonus point for Bristol Rugby when the flanker reacted quickest to Morgan’s penalty attempt to scoop up the loose ball and drop over the whitewash for a converted score.

Then, replacement Ali Birch touched down for a converted Titans try as the flurry of points continued.

After Kyle Traynor was sin-binned, James McKinney crossed for a last-gasp score, but the fly half couldn’t find the target with his conversion attempt and Bristol held on for the win to return to the top of the table.

Rotherham Titans:

Sean Scanlon; Michael Keating, Jordan Davies, Mark Cooke, Curtis Wilson; James McKinney, Dan White; Robin Hislop, Tom Cruse, Mark Tampin, Barney Maddison, Tom Holmes (c), Alex Rieder, Jack Preece, Ben Morris.

Replacements: Tom Dunn (for Tom Cruse, 60 mins), Toby Williams (for Robin Hislop, 73 mins), Lewis Thiede (for Mark Tampin, 60 mins), Willie Ryan (for Ben Morris, 54 mins), Ali Birch (for Jack Preece, 65 mins), Andy Davies (for Dan White, 69 mins),Tom Barrett.

Bristol Rugby:

Jack Wallace; Charlie Amesbury, Gareth Maule, Gavin Henson, David Lemi; Matthew Morgan, Craig Hampson; Kyle Traynor, Ross McMillan, Gaston Cortes, Ben Glynn, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones (c), Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Nick Koster, 60 mins), Anthony Perenise (for Gaston Cortes, 67 mins), Joe Joyce (for Jack Lam, 74 mins), Nick Koster (for Ryan Jones, 59 mins), Tim Turner, Nicky Robinson (for David Lemi, 47 mins), Jack Tovey (for Charlie Amesbury, 34 mins).

 

Referee: Dean Richards