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Home > News > Rotherham Titans 16 Coventry 26
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19
JAN

Rotherham Titans 16 Coventry 26

Written by John Butler

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Justice was firmly done at Clifton Lane. On a ground that has not always been a happy one for the Blue and Whites, a try count of 4 –2 ensuring a safe passage into the EDF Energy 5th Round draw. As at least one fan observed afterwards, ‘’ what a pity bonus points weren’t at stake’’ !

Having turned round 5 –6 down at the break, but with wind advantage to come, it would have been something of a shock if Cov had not pulled through in the end. Even in the first half, taking into consideration potential try scoring opportunities, the Midlanders probably should have been in front. So whilst only one try ensued Rotherham themselves could not have been happy with just a point lead to defend having had to rely on the kicking boot to get them that far.. With Cov having conceded a 6-2 penalty count by the break, the Titans were only able to land two of their penalties and only once in reality did they come close to a try, former Cov lock McGowan being held up after a Feeley break.

Playing into the wind, Coventry enjoyed most of the early possession, play being stopped for over two minutes following a worrying injury to Rudi Brits from which he thankfully recovered. Arguably Cov should have been in twice from early forays, Winter not being able to hold on to a poorish pass. When Roth attacked Mc Gowan was held, Barlow and Whitehead both missing penalties, before the visitors broke out courtesy of what was to prove to be the first of three strikes against the head and with Chris Whitehead making some 40 metres before being held.

Finally on the half hour after Donovan Sanders had been penalised Barlow found his range from 32 metres for 3 –0 with Cov however replying within four minutes. From a turnover begun by Chris Whitehead saw some good interplay, Ollie Winter making ground, Jamie Miller and Myles Dorrian both being held close in before Dorrian dived in at the corner for the games opening try, ‘’ Milos’’ touchline conversion into the wind failing.

Could Coventry lead at the break, well not quite. After Whitehead had been spoken Barlow landed his second penalty from close in.

With the wind continuing to howl straight down the pitch, Rotherham now playing into it started much more positively, an excellent build up allowing centre Allen to crash in on 42 minutes, Barlow’s conversion just failing.

Down 11-5 it took some 10 minutes for Cov to get a realistic hold back in the home half before the lead was regained after 53 minutes. A penalty kick to touch saw both Dorrian and Will Hurrell held before following a scrum and switch left Donovan Sanders strode through the centre for try number two, Dorrian converting.

Coventry were now in control and seven minutes later Myles Dorrian sold a very big dummy, the gap opening up for the Aussie fly half to stride in majestically from 25 metres without a hand being laid on him, ‘’ Milo’’ converting his own try for 11-19.

Now with something of a comfort zone, Cov were playing with increasing confidence, try number four through Will Hurrell following on 76 minutes after a good build up ,Dorrian once more converting for 16 personal points in a telling performance.

Rotherham to their credit although well beaten kept plugging away, Whitehead with a chip and gather crossing for a well worked try too late to affect the outcome, replacement West missing the conversion.

Coventry knew the spoils were deservedly theirs in front of a very quiet home crowd at the end, the final hope being a favourable 5th round draw to hopefully bring a first home tie in five national cup/trophy matches.

Coventry. Ben Russell, Will Hurrell, George Dixon, Donovan Sanders, Ollie Winter, Myles Dorrian, Nathan Jones, Rob Dugard, Chris Whitehead, Rudi Brits, Carl Burgess, Sam Herrington, Henno Venter (Capt), Jamie Miller, Laurie McGlone.

Replacements; Darren Clayton for Miller, Ben Toft for Winter, David Lyons for Burgess, Ricky Whitehall for Brits, Stewart Pearl for Whitehead, Ben Pons for Venter, Tommy Hayes for Hurrell.

Coventry. Tries; Myles Dorrian 2, Donovan Sanders, Will Hurrell. Conversions; Dorrian 3

Rotherham. Tries; Tom Allen, Mike Whithead. Penalty goals; Tom Barlow 2

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