Rotherham’s hopes look over after a heavy loss at Munster

Justin Burnell
Justin Burnell
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Rotherham Titans chances of progressing to the knockout stages of the British and Irish Cup appear to be over after a second successive loss to Munster A.

Where last Saturday’s defeat at Clifton Lane was a lot closer affair, this was a convincing victory for the Irish province’s second string.

It leaves Justin Burnell’s Championship outfit with just one win from four games, in a pool that features Doncaster Knights and London Welsh, the fate of whom is yet to be determined.

Doncaster’s fixture with the financially-stricken Welsh was postponed due to the Exiles’ travails for the second weekend in a row, meaning the outcome of the pool may yet be decided away from matters on the pitch.

Even if they are, Rotherham are a long shot to progress after this heavy defeat.

Admittedly, Burnell knew chances of success were slim and opted to make 10 changes to the team that hosted the Irish side last week.

And the pattern was set early on at the home of Ennis RFC.

After Rotherham full-back Caolan Ryan cancelled out Steve Crosbie’s early penalty, the Titans never got close again.

At half-time, tries from Peter McCabe and Sam Arnold, both converted by Crosbie, kept the score to 15-3.

But Munster accelerated away in the second half.

First, back row Gavin Coombes crossed shortly after the interval, and then Crosbie scored and converted a fourth try which secured the try bonus.

Finally prop Rory Burke, like Coombes a homegrown product for the club – completed the scoring with a fifth try 11 minutes from time, with Crosbie maintaining his 100 per cent kicking record.

ends