Rotherham’s new coach, Alex Codling, launched his career at the Clifton Lane club in the best possible way by guiding his team to a much-needed league win in his first match in charge.
After two successive defeats in the Championship, Rotherham’s victory at Billesley Common restored self-confidence and confirmed Codling’s belief that he has a hard-working squad and one which can be seriously competitive.
This win, Rotherham’s fifth in 11 games, was set up by a determined second-half performance in which Peter Homan added to his first-half try and full-back Fergus Mulchrone completed an enterprising move straight from the re-start.
Rotherham, though, should be disappointed that they did not leave Birmingham with a bonus point because they had sufficient ball to have scored a fourth try.
Moseley, without a win at home, proved to be the toughest of opponents and fought back so strongly that they came too close for Rotherham’s liking to achieving a late win.
Rotherham led 20-9 after 54 minutes, but Moseley’s forwards at last retained the ball at a lineout and drove over for a try on 74 minutes and with the conversion cut Rotherham’s lead to only 20-16.
For the remainder of the second half and then into 11 minutes of added time, Rotherham’s defence had to withstand several assaults from the Moseley pack.
In a tense finish for Rotherham, the Titans’ forwards found reserves of strength and resolve which they had not needed to reveal during similar long periods in previous Championship matches.
It was a remarkable act of survival and one which delighted Codling.
“We had a few nervous moments at the end, but we kept up the pressure defensively and offensively.
“I am thrilled. Moseley is a tough place to come to and Rotherham showed that we can play with ambition as well as having a power game.
“We scored three great tries and I thought Rory Pitman, Carl Kirwan and Latu Makaafi in the pack were outstanding,” added Codling.
“We did give away silly penalties and we must be much more disciplined.”
Codling now begins preparations for Saturday’s clash at Clifton Lane in the British and Irish Cup against champions Munster.
Moseley: Carter, S.Hunt, King (B.Hunt 48), Hayter (Davies 52), Thomas, Brown, Waller (Thorp 76), Caves, Herriott, Lockley (Wilkes 71), Hicks (Burrows 58), Mason, Pons, Pienaar.
Rotherham Titans: F.Mulchrone, Homan, Law, Nonu (Gill 51), Sheridan, McKinney, C.Mulchrone, Gadd (Kilbane 75), Stagg, Davies (Denman 63), Freeman, Sanderson, Makaafi (Rieder 73), Kirwan, Pitman.
Referee: Steve Lee RFU).