Jersey 44 Rotherham Titans 27: Titans safe but unable to mark moment with a win

Rotherham Titans head coach Justin Burnell. (Picture: Scott Merrylees)
Rotherham Titans head coach Justin Burnell. (Picture: Scott Merrylees)
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Despite a Michael Keating brace of tries, Rotherham Titans returned from the Channel Island without any points, but Moseley’s defeat to Doncaster Knights on Friday at least means they have secured their Championship status.

And that was the principle objective when Justin Burnell was brought in in February following the dismissal of fellow Welshman Mark Jones.

The home victories over Bedford Blues and Nottingham were the key wins and mean Rotherham can look forward to making a more concerted bid at reclaiming a position in the top four which had been theirs in the past two seasons.

But they were unable to prevent Jersey maintaining their hopes of gatecrashing the top four at St Peter on Saturday.

Try doubles for both Tom Howe and James Freeman, plus further scores by Nick Haining and Rich Lane, helped Jersey keep their promotion dream alive.

The Titans scored their tries through a brace by Keating and one from forward Lewis Thiede, with two of their scores coming in the second half to really threaten the Reds.

However, the hosts were able to power away at the end, leaving Burnell to bemoan his side’s errors.

“Unfortunately I’d say that four of their tries involved errors that we made, and that was disappointing, but we played with great energy and character to fight back into the game,” he said.

“I’m disappointed to come away with nothing and we have a massive game against Scottish to finish our season at home.”

Jersey: Adair, Howe, Evans, Robling, Lane, Cope, Dudley, McCarthy, Buckle, Kerrod, Campbell, Philips, Rae, Freeman, Haining. Replacements: Woolmore, Garcia-Veiga, Herriott, Kolo’ofai, Graham, Fisilau, Penberthy.

Rotherham Titans: Goodwin, Keating, Gill, Barker, J. Hayes, Robinson, A. Davies, Williams, Preece, Tampin, Holmes, Salmon, B. Maddison, Birch, Ryan. Replacements: Edgson, Cromie, L. Thiede, L. Thiede, Sinclair, Redfern, White, Owen.

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths praised his side for their character as they claimed a 38-23 win at relegation-threatened Moseley on Friday night.

Griffiths said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted with the boys. There were some tired limbs out there, the boys put in a big shift last Sunday and did the same tonight. This team has a never-say-die attitude.”