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FT Nottingham 16 Rotherham 27


DAVID Jackson made his 267th appearance for Nottingham to become the club's most-capped league player, but it was far from being a memorable occasion as the Green and Whites were well-beaten 27-16 by Rotherham on Sunday.

Jacko 267 gamesAfter back-to-back wins to start the campaign it was a frustrating afternoon for the hosts as they found themselves up against a belligerent defence, and made too many mistakes in their efforts to break through.

A couple of first half chances went begging courtesy of handling errors and poor discipline as they fought hard for parity against the stronger looking Titans pack.

Despite enjoying more possession in the second half they found chances even more difficult to come by, before the game turned against them in a disastrous - and controversial - eight minute spell.

There was no danger whatever when Titans ran out of defence and sent a raking, hopeful kick through towards the home line.

James Arlidge waited, one foot either side of the line, before picking the ball up and touching it down. The referee, however, claimed the ball was still rolling and awarded a five-metre scrum.

The Rotherham scrummage proved too strong for Nottingham and they regained the initiative with a penalty try at a crucial stage of the game and went on to add a second try to seal a deserved win.

To mark his achievement Jackson led the side out, and was soon in the action with a couple of clearance kicks as the visitors dominated early possession.

That dominance brought a penalty for James McKinney to open the scoring after four minutes, but Nottingham responded with a multi-phase attack which should have brought more than an equalising penalty for Arlidge when Titans were penalised at a scrum.

McKinney had the chance to put his side back in front with a penalty from the restart but his effort fell just short.

Minutes later, though, Nottingham were awarded a penalty on halfway, but when someone pointed out to the referee that he had missed a glaring advantage the decision was reversed and McKinney slotted over the kick to restore the lead, quickly adding a third to make it 3-9 midway through the first half.

Although Rotherham were doing most of the attacking, Nottingham had their moments and a turnover gave them the chance to get back into it as they set up a good position on the visitors' 22 before being penalised for not releasing.

And a similar break down the right also came to nothing thanks to a knock-on, before Titans wasted a golden opportunity to bag the first try of the day when they missed an overlap down the left.

They, however, kept the pressure on to force a five-metre scrum and it took some excellent defence from Nottingham to hold them out before forcing play into touch and clearing up field.

An injury time penalty attempt from Arlidge, wide out on the right, sailed across the front of the posts to leave the Green and Whites trailing by six points at the break.

But he had another opportunity in the opening minute of the second half and duly grabbed his 100th league penalty for Nottingham to reduce that gap to three points.

As the home side were beginning to look more threatening, putting together several promising attacks, Rhys Crane stormed through the middle and almost sent Tim Streather clear before a third penalty from Arlidge levelled it at nine points apiece on 57 minutes.

Crane action v Rotherham

TRY TIME: Crane came up with a late try.

But then came that controversy, and four scores in the space of eight minutes took the visitors well clear.

McKinney converted the penalty try and then added a couple of penalties before a defensive slip allowed winger Eamonn Sheridan in to make it 9-27 with less than 10 minutes on the clock.

A strong finish from Nottingham saw Crane finally break through the defence for a try, with replacement Rory Lynn dropping the conversion, but that was a rare lapse by the Rotherham defence and the visitors were well worth their eleven point winning margin.

ROTHERHAM TITANS 27 (Sheridan, Penalty try; McKinney conv; McKinney 5 pen) d NOTTINGHAM RUGBY 16 (Crane try, Lynn conv; Arlidge 3 pen).

Nottingham Rugby:15 A Savage 14 D Jackson 13 T Streather 12 J Munro 11 R Crane 10 J Arlidge (22 R Lynn, 72 mins ) 9 S Romans (21 F Barnham, 72 mins 1 M Holford 2 J Duffey (16 J Stevens, 72 mins) 3 R Bower (17 J Harris, 72 mins) 4 D Montagu( 19 J Quinn 59 mins) 5 N Rouse 6 R Cooper 7 B Wilson 8 A Shaw (20 T Calladine, 65mins).

Replacements not used: 18 M Shields

Referee: S Lee

Attendance: 2078 at Meadow Lane Stadium.



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