Titans give nothing away as big spenders are humbled by McCall

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Rotherham maintained their unbeaten home record in the league and kept pace with the Championship’s front-runners with a hard-fought victory over Nottingham.

The Greens are among the biggest spenders in the division but Andre Bester’s bargain-basement side had the edge in a defensive-minded game.

Only two tries were scored in the Christmas Eve clash at Clifton Lane as defences dominated.

Outside centre Dave McCall scored the Titans try as he celebrated signing a permanent deal at Rotherham in fine style.

The former Scotland junior has signed until the end of the season after impressing during a month-long loan spell from Glasgow Warriors.

And he contributed decisively on Christmas Eve with the team’s only try against the Titans fellow promotion rivals.

Slick hands from fly-half Garry Law set up a chance for lock Adrian Griffiths who fed McCall who went in at the corner.

It ended a deadlock that until the second half looked unlikely to be broken.

Law had kicked two penalties to one each for Kieran Hallet and James Arlidge, which saw the sides go in level at 6-6 at half-time.

Law then kicked penalties on 42 and 47 minutes to give Rotherham a bit of daylight before McCall struck on 66 minutes to put the hosts within sight of the points.

A try by Alex Shaw just three minutes later made for a nervy conclusion, but the fact that it went unconverted meant Nottingham needed more than one score to pinch victory.

That they could not even claim a losing bonus point provided much festive cheer for the majority of the 1,843 fans inside Clifton Lane.

Bester said: “I thought we played well and it was a very controlled performance.

“Nottingham rarely threatened our try line. I have to commend us for how well we defended.

“And it moves us to within one win of going past our 50-point target.”

Rotherham are next in action on New Year’s Eve when they travel to bottom-club Esher.