Preston Grasshoppers vs Rotherham Titans

Date: 09 December 2023

Preston Grasshoppers 7 – 34 Rotherham Titans

Preston Grasshoppers wait for a home win goes on into the New Year after a brave performance against Rotherham Titans.

Ellis Causey (pictured above) scored Hoppers only try of the game as the Titans forwards were in full effect in awful conditions at Lightfoot Green.

The visitors opened the scoring in seven minutes when Callum Bustin won the ball in the air from a five metre line out.

From there, the Titans forwards rolled the maul over the line to get their first try of the day and set out their match plan for everyone to see.

Four minutes later Hoppers managed to respond with a try of their own when Causey charged down a kick and then displayed great footwork to control the ball and touch it down, injuring himself in the process.

A successful conversion from William Hunt gave Preston the advantage which they would hold onto for another twenty minutes, but another driving maul from Zakary Poole from 15 metres out put Rotherham back in front.

Hoppers went into the break just three points down, a half to be proud of against promotion hopefuls.

A warning to the hosts in the first half carried over, and Wade Williams was shown a yellow card after giving away another penalty, a card that felt like it was coming.

50 minutes in and the Titans made use of their man advantage when Charles Capps tumbled his way under the posts to score their third try of the game.

Halfway through the second half, the visitors scored their fourth try, their third from a driving maul, this time with John Okafor being the one to add five points to Rotherham’s tally.

The visitors pack weren’t done yet, with their set piece itself being enough for a try scoring bonus point with a fourth rolling maul into the corner, with Tipiloma Kivalu the one to dot down.

Titans had one more in them in the dying seconds, when Richard Hayes made nearly twenty metres, evading several tackles before eventually offloading to Rupert Kay who threaded his way between Hoppers defenders and over the line to round up the day’s proceedings, with the score 7-34 to the visitors.

Preston Grasshoppers Head Coach Alex Keay was pleased with the effort his side showed after last week’s loss away to Lymm.

He said: “I think today the score did not reflect the energy and effort that went into it and it was just in key areas that we got absolutely out-muscled.

“There’s no disgrace in that, this week I’m pleased with the effort we put into that match.”

Hoppers drop to 11th in the table, and have a big match next week when they face local rivals Fylde away at the Woodlands Memorial Ground in their last match before the New Year.

Report by Tom Kelly, pictures by Mike Craig

Rotherham Titans 9 Dec 2023

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