DERBY DAZE: Rotherham Titans 38 Doncaster Knights 20

DERBY DAZE: Chris Planchant attempts to stop Rotherham's Charlie Mulchrone in his tracks.
DERBY DAZE: Chris Planchant attempts to stop Rotherham's Charlie Mulchrone in his tracks.

THE Knights were left to rue not making first half possession count as they slumped to a derby defeat at Rotherham.

Doncaster dominated territory and possession during the majority of the first period but went into the break behind as the ruthless Titans struck.

And the hosts re-emerged a stronger force in the second half to secure a relatively comfortable victory.

Garry Law slotted over a penalty to open the scoring for the hosts after 12 minutes but that proved a rare foray into the Knights half from Rotherham.

Brian McGovern was unlucky to see a try ruled out after being adjudged to have been held up over the line following a strong period of Doncaster pressure.

McGovern was at the centre of controversy again on 23 minutes and was lucky to only see the yellow card after kicking at a Titans player laid prone on the floor.

Rotherham immediately made the numbers advantage tell with Ed Stagg powering over as they surged forward and Law adding the conversion.

The Knights continued to have the better of possession and territory in what was becoming a tense and fiery derby contest.

Lee Blackett was sinbinned for the hosts after going off his feet.

And the Knights grabbed their first try with Jethro Rawling forcing his way over to get his side off the mark.

Jamie Lennard reduced the gap to two points with a penalty three minutes before the break.

But Law landed one of his own to give Rotherham some much needed breathing space.

It took Rotherham just five minutes of the second half to extend their lead when Charlie Mulchrone dived on the ball from a driving maul.

The Knights powered back and were rewarded for their pressure when Tyson Lewis found the space to surged over the line, Lennard converting.

The game proved to be a much more open affair and the Knights were punished for a slack pass on half way when Joel Gill punted the ball forward, collected and laid off to Peter Homan who ran in unopposed.

The two sides exchanged possession with Rotherham beginning to exert themselves more.

Law landed a superb penalty from half way nine minutes from time.

And the hosts’ advantage was further cemented when the Knights lost the ball in the ruck, Daniel Sanderson broke and found Homan who again charged over the line, Law converting.

Doncaster gave themselves a small amount of hope on 77 minutes when Rawling grabbed a second try after a fine rolling maul.

But the Titans hit back straight away when full back Fergus Mulchrone caught the Doncaster defence flat footed to surge over in the corner.

It was the last act of an enthralling derby contest which saw the weaknesses of both sides exposed.

Titans: 15 F Mulchrone, 14 Homan, 13 Blackett, 12 Nonu, 11 Doneghan (21 Gill, 80), 10 Law, 9 C Mulchrone (22 Williams, 76), 1 Kilbane (17 Gadd, 46), 2 Stagg, 3 Denman (18 Davies, 46), 4 Freeman, 5 Sanderson, 6 Ellyatt (19 Dacres, 80), 7 Kirwan, 8 Rieder

Replacement: 23 Cahill, 21 Styles.

T: Stagg, C Mulchrone, Homan (2), F Mulchrone

P: Law (3)

C: Law (2)

Knights: 15 Lennard, 14 Flockhart, 13 Mama, 12 Tincknell (16 Bergmanus, 74), 11 Lewis, 10 Luke, 9 Hallam (20 Munro, 74), 1 Davies (21 Simpson, 74), 2 Buckley (22 Sowery, 68), 3 McGovern (17 Francis, 57), 4 Challinor, 5 Parsons, 6 Boyde (18 Hoy, 57), 7 Rawling, 8 Planchant (19 Pailor, 57)

T: Rawling (2), Lewis

P: Lennard

C: Lennard

Att: 1,876