Rotherham outclassed

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The Independent Online

Rotherham are in urgent need of an injection of class if their debut season in the Zurich Premiership is not to dissolve into an anticlimactic struggle against relegation.

Rotherham are in urgent need of an injection of class if their debut season in the Zurich Premiership is not to dissolve into an anticlimactic struggle against relegation.

The Yorkshire club, promoted seven times in the last 14 years, went down 26-13 at Harlequins yesterday. The home side helped themselves to four tries - from Steve White-Cooper, Daren O'Leary, Will Greenwood and Nick Greenstock - while Rotherham breached Quins' defence just once near the end when the prop Jim Thorp barged over.

Pressure kicking by international rugby's top points scorer Neil Jenkins enabled Cardiff to begin their defence of the Welsh/Scottish League Premier Division title with a 35-30 home success over Neath.

Shane Williams, the diminutive wing who made a huge impact for Wales last season, slotted four early penalties and produced a raking touch-finder which was rewarded when Duncan Jones drove over from the line-out. Cardiff replied with three Jenkins penalties and pulled to within a point just before half-time when Craig Morgan raced over in the left corner. Although another Jenkins penalty put Cardiff briefly ahead, Neath's pack forced Andrew Millward over and their England under-21 fly-half, James Brown, landed a 40-yard drop goal into the wind. That, though, was the cue for Cardiff to move up a gear. The Canadian flanker Dan Baugh crossed and Jenkins sealed Neath's fate with a drop goal and injury-time penalty.

Newcomers Cross Keys had a rude awakening as Bridgend overturned a 12-10 interval deficit to beat them 37-12. The visitors ran in four tries, two of them from Tongans Maama Molitika and Siua Taumalolo, while Ioan Bebb kicked all Keys' points before going off with a face injury.

Caerphilly enjoyed a 31-13 win over Glasgow Caledonians with tries from Gareth Jones, Mark Workman and David Hawkins before Gordon Simpson claimed a late consolation touchdown. Edinburgh Reivers salvaged Scottish pride with a 43-25 defeat of Ebbw Vale despite a hat-trick of tries by visiting wing Andrew Wagstaff.

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