Worcester 49 Rotherham Titans 10: Titans look forward to derby after televised mauling

Rotherham Titans' Max Argyle
Rotherham Titans' Max Argyle
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Having suffered two heavy league defeats by Worcester, one of the clear favourites to return to the Premiership, it is with some relief that Rotherham turn their attention to a much more winnable contest on Saturday at Clifton Lane against Yorkshire Carnegie.

In the televised game at Sixways, Rotherham were battered by seven tries to one by a far superior club that benefits from Premiership-style resources on and off the field.

Is it any wonder that in two Championship games, Worcester have scored 13 tries to two, and have amassed 96 points and conceded only 17?

Commendably, the Titans fought non-stop, never took a backward step and while possession was thrown away carelessly at the lineout to reprieve Worcester, their pack, hard-working and fully committed, scored an excellent try through flanker Jack Preece late in the second half.

By then, of course, Rotherham had already lost; outplayed and outclassed by opponents who had scored four first-half tries to lead by 28-3 at the interval.

Worcester’s power and speed were maintained in the second period as they added another three. After Rotherham’s defence had allowed centre Max Stelling to score a soft try on eight minutes, the Titans improved but then fell apart as Worcester’s backs broke through twice in two minutes.

Former Leeds winger Tom Biggs finished the first half ruthlessly as he punished Rotherham for handing over the ball following a sloppy lineout.

Additional tries on 43, 54 and 62 minutes took Worcester’s tally close to the 50-mark and with centre Andy Symons putting over his seventh conversion, Rotherham were sinking.

The spirit shown by forwards such as Max Argyle, Alex Rieder and Ben Morris never relented, and, on 74 minutes, this endeavour was rewarded when an exemplary drive to Worcester’s line resulted in Preece’s try.

Worcester Warriors: Howard, Hammond (Fatiaki 66), Stelling, Symons, Biggs, Mills (Mieres 73), Arr (Mulchrone 62), Bower (Ruskin 55), Annett (Creevy 49), Rees (Schonert 49), Williams, Thomas, Senatore (O’Shea 40), Betty, Van Velze.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Hayes, Cooke (Davies 52), Wilson, McKinney (Barrett 52), White, Hislop (Williams 58), Cruse (Birch 63), Tampin (Thiede 49), Maddison, Robinson, Argyle (Preece 43), Rieder, Morris.

Referee: I Tempest.