Rotherham Titans 3 Worcester Warriors 32: Bester impressed by Titans' spirit against the millionaires

THERE are three certainties in life; death, taxes and Worcester winning promotion.

If they do not with a salary cap of nearly 4m – 10 times what Rotherham have at their disposal – they need hanging.

Richard Hill's Warriors have occasionally made heavy weather of a division they should steamroll, but the mutterings among the faithful who followed them north was that the M5 millionaires produced their most complete performance of the season at Clifton Lane.

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That they did not humiliate Rotherham while always being in control, will hearten the Titans, whose progress in a division that between the teams in second and 11th is as unpredictable as the bottom and top places are predictable, has stalled somewhat.

This was their second straight defeat and with Nottingham and London Welsh up next, pre-Christmas could be a pivotal period as they look to consolidate their position in the top eight.

They were pulverised by an enormous pack, dominated in

a lineout that continues to be their Achilles heel, exposed out wide by the clinical finishing of Miles Benjamin and picked apart by the playmaking and kicking of former England fly-half Andy Goode.

"It was always going to be difficult but the boys can be really proud of their performance," said captain Joe Bedford, who at scrum-half is a class apart for the Titans.

"When the ball was in open play you wouldn't have known who was full-time and who was part-time. But in the set-piece there was no comparison, they were massive.

"What can you do against a team that spends 4m a year on salaries?

"We have got to forget the top four teams, unless they're at Clifton Lane like London Welsh in a couple of weeks. Our job is to beat the rest, like Nottingham next week. The higher we finish in that top eight the better."

Rotherham were not completely overawed. A malfunctioning lineout that yielded possession five times in the first half was improved after the break in what was a more purposeful performance.

Jonny Hepworth was held up just short by a super defence marshalled by international-class forwards in Neil Best and Craig Gillies.

Pat Sanderson scored a first-half try after a maul from the powerful visitors, but the chief executioner was Benjamin, who scampered over in the corner on three occasions.

Goode, who was playing Six Nations rugby 20 months ago, kicked 12 points.

"Their defence was tremendous and they have a player in Andy Goode who can orchestrate things," said Titans head coach Andre Bester.

"We showed great spirit. It was very positive and we can kick on from here."

Rotherham Titans: Swatkins, Welding, Hepworth, Socino, James, Hodgson (Godfrey 65), Bedford; Quigley (Steenkamp 39), McGregor (Loney 39), O'Donnell, Harris, Dickinson, Burrows, Dougall Kettle (Sandford 70). Unused replacements: Baines, Rhodes, Aikman.

Worcester Warriors: Walker, Garvey, Higgitt, Crockett (Rasmussen 60), Benjamin, Goode (Carlisle 71), Williams (Frost 71); Black, Fortey, Douglas (Taumoepeau 66), Rawlinson (Kitchener 66), Gillies, Best (Kvesic 66), Sanderson, Horstmann. Unused replacement: Lutui.

Referee: S Davey (RFU).