Cornish Pirates 34 Rotherham Titans 5: The boys’ effort cannot be questioned, insists Justin Burnell

Tom Calladine.

Tom Calladine.

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Rotherham Titans head coach Justin Burnell says his side’s commitment cannot be questioned despite slumping to a 34-5 defeat at Cornish Pirates in the Championship yesterday.

All the Titans had to show for a long trip south was an unconverted Tom Calladine try in the first half.

Defeat leaves the South Yorkshire strugglers second bottom, but Burnell recognised the display was an improvement.

“The performance was better and the boys’ effort cannot be questioned,” he said. “We stemmed the line breaks and tightened up our defence but then the mistakes came and that cost us.

“The constant errors are hurting us and we spilled ball at crucial times.

“We get ourselves into good positions and then we let ourselves down with our accuracy, these are the mistakes that we need to work hard to rectify.”

The Pirates ran in three first-half tries to No 8 Tom Duncan, Tom Channon and John Stevens - all converted by Lawrence May who also tagged on a penalty to lead 24-5.

May kicked a second penalty after the break, but despite plenty of possession, Rotherham could not add to their solitary score.

In added time, Nick de Battista went over from a maul, to secure the bonus point, and May added the conversion.

Victory sees the Pirates in fifth spot in the table, one point behind third-placed Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders, who are fourth.

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