Lan­g­ley gets the new boys over the line with a bonus

The Rugby Paper - - Greene King IPA Championship - ■ By GUY WIL­LIAMS

FLANKER Rob Lan­g­ley in­spired the Cham­pi­onship new boys to their first league win af­ter an im­pres­sive per­for­mance at Clifton Lane.

They earned a max­i­mum five points as Rother­ham’s mis­er­able start to the sea­son con­tin­ued.

The Ti­tans, los­ing by four tries to two, have now lost three con­sec­u­tive matches in which they have con­ceded 16 tries, lit­tle won­der the York­shire team are strug­gling at the bot­tom of the Cham­pi­onship.

By con­trast, Hart­pury, who led 19-6 at half time and then re­sisted a strong Rother­ham fight­back, were able to build on promis­ing dis­plays against Bris­tol and Jersey as the Glouces­ter­shire club showed again they were able to com­pete at a higher stan­dard.

Hart­pury coach John Barnes said: “I’m pretty happy and to get our first win away from home is a bonus.

“We made hard work of it be­cause Rother­ham re­ally came at us at the start of the se­cond half and our nerves started to go, but we got back into it and re­gained con­trol.”

Tries by scrum half Harry Ran­dall, wingers Elias Caven and Harry Cochrane and re­place­ment prop Tom Heard not only re­vealed Hart­pury’s skill and pace, but also ex­posed Rother­ham’s weak­nesses in de­fence.

The Ti­tans fought back strongly in the se­cond half and were trail­ing by only 22-21 fol­low­ing tries by flanker Adam Peters and winger Jake Henry, and two suc­cess­ful kicks from fly half Lee Mil­lar, to sug­gest a hint of a first win.

How­ever, the league’s new­com­ers over­came a poor pe­riod and fin­ished the con­test with author­ity. Heard was driven over for a con­verted try, and soon af­ter­wards, Hart­pury’s 29-21 lead was stretched to a com­fort­able 32-21 as re­place­ment fly-half James Wil­liams struck a penalty to con­firm a mem­o­rable re­sult.

Rother­ham’s prob­lems in at­tack and de­fence need solv­ing quickly if an­other weak sea­son is to be avoided, but coach Andy Key sees promis­ing signs of a re­cov­ery:

“We are not a side that’s go­ing to die. It’s only three games into the sea­son and we saw for 60 min­utes what we were ca­pa­ble of.

“I was pleased with the se­cond half which we won. Our pace and fit­ness showed, but what did for us was 25 min­utes in the first half when they scored three tries af­ter our good start.”

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