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Report: Bristol Rugby 26-17 Rotherham Titans

Max Crumpton’s eightieth minute try ensured Bristol moved back to the top of the Greene King IPA Championship with a bonus point win over Rotherham Titans.

The hosts touched down four times as Chris Brooker went over in the first period, before George Watkins, Glen Townson and replacement Crumpton added scores after the interval.

Andy Davies should have put Rotherham in front inside three minutes, only for Luke Eves to thwart the Titans scrum half with a last-ditch cover tackle.

But the visitors did take the lead when Sean Scanlon accelerated through a gaping hole in the midfield to slide over for a converted try.

Bristol leveled proceedings before the half hour mark as Chris Brooker capitalized on a well-worked driving lineout to crash over from close range, while Nicky Robinson slotted the extras.

James McKinney’s mammoth penalty goal edged Rotherham back ahead and, despite plenty of territory deep in opposition territory, Bristol couldn’t find a way through a stubborn visiting defence before the interval.

Andy Robinson’s men turned the game on its head soon after the restart when George Watkins – on his first competitive appearance since returning to the club – collected a crossfield kick to fly over the whitewash in style.

In a scrappy second period, Jack Preece’s yellow card handed Bristol the impetus and the hosts took full advantage as Glen Townson rumbled over from five metre for a converted try.

Fourteen-man Rotherham stayed in touch courtesy of Alex Rieder’s converted score and could have added a quickfire second when replacement Chris Harris raced clear.

Adrian Jarvis missed a penalty goal opportunity, before Max Crumpton latched onto Auguy Slowik’s pass to stretch over in the corner for Bristol’s fourth try, the bonus point and an eighth successive league win.

Bristol Rugby:

Auguy Slowik; Jack Wallace, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, George Watkins; Nicky Robinson, Dwayne Peel (c); Jack O’Connell, Chris Brooker, James Hall, Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Marco Mama, Olly Robinson, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Max Crumpton (for Chris Brooker, 67 mins), Gaston Cortes (for Jack O’Connell, 59 mins), Mark Sorenson (for Ben Glynn, 57 mins), Nick Koster (for Olly Robinson, 57 mins), Craig Hampson, Adrian Jarvis (for Nicky Robinson, 63 mins), Gareth Maule.

Rotherham Titans:

Sean Scanlon; Michael Keating, Joel Gill, Jordan Davies, Curtis Wilson; James McKinney, Andy Davies; Robin Hislop, Tom Cruse, Lewis Thiede, Perry Parker, Tom Holmes (c), Alex Rieder, Jack Preece, Willie Ryan.

Replacements: Ali Birch (for Tom Cruse, 14 mins), Toby Williams (for Robin Hislop, 70 mins), Mark Tampin (for Lewis Thiede, 61 mins), Barney Maddison (for Tom Holmes, 57 mins), Chris Harris (for Joel Gill, 58 mins), James Mitchell, Tom Barrett (for James McKinney, 65 mins).

Referee: Luke Pearce
Attendance: 6,428
Airbus Man of the Match: Nicky Robinson