A VALIANT Luctonians side suffered a 37-22 defeat when they headed to joint league leaders Rotherham Titans last Saturday, in what was their fourth away fixture out of their opening five games.

A tough task on paper for the visitors was made no easier, with a late arrival due to traffic congestion on the M1.

It came as no surprise when the Yorkshiremen went into a 7-0 lead after just two minutes, with the first of four tries that would be scored from driving mauls.

After taking a few minutes to find their feet Lucs then began to compete well and hit back through an unconverted try from lock Owien Harriott-Davis.

The Titans would strike again however from their driving maul on 21 minutes for a 14-5 lead, before things got worse for Lucs as Frank Kelly, back at the club on loan from Championship side Bedford Blues, was sent to the sin bin for an intentional knock on.

Ryan Watkins’s men dug in at this point and following a huge defensive effort, went down the other end and added a penalty from Owen Randell to pull within six points.

The home side though flexed their muscles three minutes either side of the break, with two close range unconverted scores to take the lead out to 24-8.

But it was Lucs who would not give in, and the visitors hit back once more with a converted try from James Wheeler pulling the game back to 24-15.

In a see-saw second half, the Titans would extend their lead again to 16 points with their fourth driving maul try of the game, before Lucs again hit back, with prop Connor Deignan racing over from 20 metres out, to make the score 31-22 with 20 minutes to play.

Rotherham began to kick penalties at goal rather than nudge to the corner, and two penalties in the final 15 minutes sealed a 37-22 victory.