Rotherham Titans 35 Doncaster Knights 34

KNIGHTS guaranteed their place in the Championship promotion play-offs - despite their derby despair at Clifton Lane.

The losing bonus point secured from a thrilling contest means Lynn Howells’ side cannot finish outside of the top eight.

But that was no consolation for Saturday’s gut-wrenching defeat as Doncaster outscored Rotherham by three tries to two and Tristan Roberts kicked 21 points but still ended up on the losing side.

Tries from Latu Makaafi, Roberts and Oli Goss kept nudging the Knights in front as both sides battled admirably against the wind, rain and Clifton Lane mud.

Along with his score, fly half Roberts conjured up two conversions, three penalties and a late drop goal that gave the visitors a 34-32 advantage with ten minutes to play.

But Titans centre Juan Pablo Socino proved to be the matchwinner by kicking a 77th minute penalty, to add to his six earlier kicks in what proved to be a faultless display from the Argentine.

Rotherham’s tries came courtesy of Peter Swatkins and captain Joe Bedford.

Knights travel to Nottingham on Wednesday night for a rearranged Championship clash.

* For the latest Knights news see this week’s Free Press.