Fylde 14, Rotherham Titans 45
Fylde RFC were made to realise how clinically mistakes are punished by higher-league opponents as Rotherham Titans won Saturday’s pre-season friendly 45-14 at the Woodlands.
However, coach Paul Arnold was encouraged by a spirited fightback from the home side, who trailed their Championship visitors 26-0 after half an hour.
The Titans quickly turned their early dominance into points as Lloyd Hayes touched down in the corner, Will Goodwin converting from touch.
Full-back Sean Scanlon scored next close to the posts and Jack Hayes soon added a third.
And a very big score looked on the cards as the Yorkshiremen’s number eight Josh Redfern galloped through to score.
However, Fylde refused to let their heads drop and scored on the stroke of half-time through newcomer James Bailey, fly-half Chris Johnson converting.
A host of replacements made for a disjointed second half, though the Titans scored twice more before the hour-mark when James Elliot crashed over from close range and Jordan Davies finished out wide from a Michael Keating break.
Fylde’s never-say-die attitude frustrated their visitors into mistakes and the hosts were rewarded with a late Ollie Brennand try, again converted by Johnson.
The Titans, whose side included the former Fylde winger Ben Rath, did have the final say as triallist Matt Foulds scored a try from the final play.
Even so, head coach Paul Arnold found plenty of positives in the performance, while admitting a harsh lesson had been taught about the punishment of mistakes at the higher level.
Fylde complete their pre-season programme at home to another Championship club, Yorkshire Carnegie, next Saturday.