Depleted Rotherham fail to clinch bonus

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A PERIOD of late pressure failed to earn Rotherham Titans a losing bonus point their efforts arguably deserved in Devon last night.

They played 20 minutes of the second half with only 14 men after yellow cards for centre Pale Nonu and lock Dan Sanderson.

While Nonu was off, Albion scored their second try through former Doncaster winger Paul Bailey which put Albion 12 points clear and left Rotherham with a mountain to climb.

The Yorkshiremen almost drove over in the corner deep into injury time, but made a mistake and the chance for a consolation had gone.

Albion fly-half Paul Roberts and Rotherham skipper Garry Law exchanged early penalties, but there were very few other scoring chances.

Rotherham threatened briefly after a fine break through the middle by front-row forwards Jamie Kilbane and Ted Stagg, but it was Albion who got their noses in front at half-time.

They kicked a penalty to the corner, and when Albion flanker Sam Hocking broke off the catch-and-drive move to dive over the line, the ball was knocked from his grasp by a Titans player coming in from an offside position and referee David Rose awarded a penalty try, which Roberts converted.

There was still time before the interval for Law to miss a 35-metre penalty to leave the Titans 10-3 behind.

Soon after Nonu’s sin-binning for a high tackle, Roberts’s crossfield kick was gathered by Bailey for a try in the corner and Albion had some breathing space.

Nonu had only been back on the pitch for a few seconds when Sanderson was sent to the cooler for pulling down at a line-out.

Despite the setback, Rotherham piled into attack and should have scored after a slick handling move, but Lee Blackett ignored an overlap to go for the line himself, and was halted just short by a superb tackle.