RFU Championship: Rotherham 32 Birmingham & Solihull 14
It was a case of déjà vu for Birmingham & Solihull as once again their second-half display cost them dear after leading for much of the opening period.
The Bees conceded 15 points without reply in a disappointing effort after the interval.
The match had started promisingly for Bees, who took the lead in the eighth minute when scrum-half Jimmy Williams pounced on a loose ball and weaved his way through some feeble Rotherham defence before drawing the full-back and putting second-row Adrian Griffiths in for an easy try in the corner.
Although they were pegged back by Pete Swatkins’ try, Bees led for most of the half.
The visitors regained the lead when Rod Petty took advantage as the home side’s handling coughed up the ball and former Rotherham man, Ant Elliott, picked up his pass and squeezed over.
However, the home side scored a crucial late try from a rolling maul to lead at the break and came out far stronger in the second half.
Juan Socino’s second penalty got the Titans’ bandwagon rolling and it was followed by tries for Sean Dougall and debutant Jonny Hampsey.
One bright spot for Bees was the performance of Tomasi Tanumi, one of several debutants. The Fijian wing made some penetrating runs, counter-attacked well, put in a couple of excellent hits and scored two touchline conversions.
ROTHERHAM: Swatkins, Hampsey, Hunt, Socino, Stimpson, Hodgson (West, 64), Bedford, Kilbane (Steenkamp, 29), McGregor (Loney, 43), Quigley (Harris, 70), McGowan (Dougall, 70), Sandford (Burrows, 40), Dickinson, Baines (Durandt, 73), Kettle.
BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL: Foden, Tanumi, Barkley (Binham, 73), Lawson, Elliott (Grove, 47), Petty, Williams (Robinson, 69), Dugard (Sperandio, 73), Sammons (Reid, 73), Halavatau (Tau, 64), Taulava, Griffiths, Bentall, Denbee (Sanderson, 52), Clayton.