Championship: Rotherham win nail-biter at Jersey

By Tim PryorBBC Radio Jersey at St Peter
Jersey and Rotherham maul
Jersey played in pink as part of a charity day in aid of After Breast Cancer

Rotherham Titans held on despite a late Jersey fight-back to claim a 32-29 win as both sides scored four tries.

First-half scores from Jersey flanker Nick Haining and Titans fly-half James McKinney saw the islanders lead 10-5 at half time.

Alex Rieder put the visitors ahead but Jersey hit back through Ryan Hodson.

Willie Ryan and Michael Keating crossed the line for Rotherham but a penalty try and then Haining's second made for a thrilling finale.

The hosts had started the game brightly with Australian Haining opening the scoring after just four minutes when hooker Martin Garcia-Veiga stole possession and offloaded well.

McKinney's impressive run to the line narrowed the gap to two points before Tommy Bell's penalty ensured Jersey held a half-time lead for the fourth time in their four Championship matches this season.

Titans were fastest out of the blocks in the second period and number eight Reider powered through from a scrum three minutes after the restart to give his side the advantage for the first time.

Back came the hosts though, in a topsy-turvy contest. Rotherham hooker Tom Cruse was sent to the sin-bin and the Channel Islanders made the man advantage count when Hodson crashed over from the maul.

Harry Williams and Nacho Lancuba
Jersey have failed to hold on to half-time leads in three of their four matches this season

The momentum changed yet again when further powerful work at the scrum saw replacement Willie Ryan run through for the try, and then winger Keating dribbled the ball like a footballer from the half-way line before grounding for Rotherham's fourth.

The home supporters may have feared there was no way back from 32-15 down, but an absorbing final 10 minutes saw them awarded a penalty-try and then super work from centre Drew Locke sent Haining clear for his second with time running out.

With the seconds ticking away the islanders turned down a tricky looking kick at the posts, instead opting for touch in search of a potential winner which never came despite late pressure.

Jersey take two bonus points from the game while Rotherham head back to Yorkshire with the maximum five points for their efforts.

Saturday's line-ups

Jersey: Bell; Foster, Locke, Robling, Burroughs; Bentley, Glynn; Lancuba, Garcia-Veiga, Williams; Phillips, Rae (capt); Haining, Hodson, Noone.

Replacements: Harris, Herriot, Markham, Kaho, Dudley, McCrea, Bishop.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon; Keating, Gill, Davies, Broadley; McKinney, White; Hislop, Cruse, Thiede; Morris, Holmes (Capt); Birch, Preece, Rieder.

Replacements: Ryan, Tampin, Parker, Williams, McGaffin, Barrett, Hayes.

Att: 2,384