Mower cuts Rotherham to quick

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rotherham's fuel crisis at Kingston Park may not have been on the same scale as at some Shell refineries, but they ran out of gas just when Newcastle were trailing in the Yorkshire club's slipstream.

Rotherham's fuel crisis at Kingston Park may not have been on the same scale as at some Shell refineries, but they ran out of gas just when Newcastle were trailing in the Yorkshire club's slipstream.

For an hour Rotherham had Newcastle on the back foot with a powerful forward display, but were unable to take that extra step after Terry Garnett had scored Rotherham's third try. They allowed Newcastle to score 17 points in as many minutes to move up to fifth in the Premiership.

Rotherham had taken full advantage of George Graham's ill- discipline and rattled the Falcons for 40 minutes, in which they scored three well-worked tries. Graham had taken the law into his own hands as Ross Nesdale was receiving a roughing-up by the Rotherham front row. Jim Thorp, the Rotherham loose-head, was on the end of such a battering that he took no further part.

While Graham was serving his time, Rotherham exacted full revenge, with the former Newcastle winger Jim Naylor smashing past Tom May for the first try. Mike Umaga soon followed, and converted both scores, before Wilkinson pegged Rotherham back with the first of his two penalties.

What Rotherham lack in creativity they make up for in undiluted determination and unrelenting muscular effort. Even with Graham restored to the home scrum, the Rotherham pack decided that they were capable of putting the lightweight Newcastle eight through the mincer.

Indeed, the Falcons pack looked as if they had been in a motorway accident as Glen Kenworthy and Mike Schmid kept Rotherham surging forward in tight formation. Newcastle's response was to move the ball to the wide-open spaces at every opportunity.

Despite Garnett's intervention, the Newcastle forwards tapped into sufficient energy to maraud up-field in numbers. Wilkinson was the link and the provider for Liam Botham to cross in the right corner. The Falcons were now in full cry. Having scored a try in the third quarter, Andrew Mower had proved his worth in broken play, as had Ross Beattie before being replaced by Jim Jenner after taking a knock to the head.

When they next broke outof Rotherham's forward embrace, Mower wrestled the ball free deep in Newcastle's half, Gary Armstrong kicked long, and Mower had the pace to be on hand after Va'aiga Tuigamala gathered the rolling ball 20 metres from the Rotherham line to put Jenner across. That finished Rotherham and earned Newcastle a bonus point.

Newcastle: Tries Leslie, Mower, Botham, Jenner; Conversions Wilkinson 4; Penalties Wilkinson 2. Rotherham: Tries Naylor, Umaga, Garnett; Conversion Umaga.

Newcastle: R Cook; L Botham, T May, J Leslie (V Tuigamala, 45), E Taione; J Wilkinson, G Armstrong; G Graham, R Nesdale, I Peel, H Vyvyan, D Weir (capt) (S Grimes, h-t), R Arnold (M Ward, 25-35), A Mower, R Beattie (J Jenner, 71).

Rotherham: M Umaga; N Simpson, J Naylor, A Northey (P Greaves, 45), M Wood; S Binns, C Harrison (D Scully, 53); J Thorp (S Bunting, 24), T Garnett, A Olver (S Turner, 67), H Parr (J Dudley, 53), G Kenworthy (B Wade, 75), M Schmid (capt), N Spence (R Earnshaw, 1-7), I Fea'unati.

Referee: E Morrison (Bristol).

Comments