Rotherham Titans 22 Nottingham 12: Debutant Will Robinson virtually ensures survival

Rotherham Titans try-scorer Will OwenRotherham Titans try-scorer Will Owen
Rotherham Titans try-scorer Will Owen
Rotherham are almost certain to be playing Championship rugby again at Clifton Lane next season after this essential victory which buried fears of relegation.

The Titans remain in 10th place but have 37 points – 10 more than Ealing Trailfinders in 11th- but, crucially, 13 more than bottom club Moseley, who have still to play the best sides, Bristol and Doncaster.

It would need near miracles for the Birmingham team to survive which is why Rotherham can start planning ahead with three league games left against Jersey, London Scottish and Ealing.

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It was no surprise that the Titans produced a fighting display with so much at stake. The individual match-winner, though, who enjoyed a memorable debut, was fly-half Will Robinson, on loan from London Welsh.

Striking five penalties and one conversion, Robinson’s return of 17 points justified the decision of Titans coach Justin Burnell, formerly at London Welsh, to bring the former Premiership player to Clifton Lane on a short-term basis. It would make sense to sign him for next season.

In a close game that was settled in Rotherham’s favour late in the second half by two Robinson penalties, centre Will Owen scored his side’s only try on 63 minutes and with Robinson’s conversion, the Titans led 16-7, a lead they gradually extended.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon (Goodwin 72) Keating, Davies, Owen, Hayes, Robinson, Carter, Williams (Cromie 45), C.Maddison (Preece 7), Tampin (Thiede 71), Holmes (Ryan 71), Oram, B.Maddison, Birch, Argyle.

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Nottingham: Robinson, Iongi, Woods (Cobden 67), Stevens, Coghlan-Murray, Mugford, Veenendaal (McConnell 67), Davies, Vickers, Heard, Green (Langley 55), Freeman, Cooper, Everard, Grant.

Referee: A Jackson (RFU).