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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Rotherham close on promotion
Worcester 9-21 Rotherham

Ramiro Pez of Rotherham
Italian star Pez helped lead Rotherham to victory
Rotherham moved closer to a place in the Zurich Premiership with a priceless victory over National League One title rivals Worcester.

Centre Mike Umaga and wing Rob Thirlby claimed second-half tries while Italian fly-half Ramiro Pez kicked 11 points.

Rotherham are now six points clear at the top of the table and they will secure the championship if they beat Orrell and Coventry in their last two games of the season later this month.

However, the Rugby Football Union has yet to announce whether this season's National League One winners will be promoted.

I couldn't believe that we were denied promotion at the 11th hour last season - I hope it is not going to happen again
Mike Schmid
Rotherham player-coach
After a tense start, Pez kicked over an 18th-minute penalty and although Worcester fly-half Tim Walsh responded, Pez kicked two more penalties to give his side a 9-3 interval lead.

Rotherham seized the initiative midway through the third quarter when Umaga capitalised on wing Jason Keyter's break to score.

Moments later, Thirlby sprinted 80 metres, evading the Worcester defence for a try which was converted by Pez.

Getting so close, and not pulling it off on the day is extremely disappointing
Cecil Duckworth
Worcester owner
Although Worcester dominated the final 15 minutes, all they could manage was a second penalty by substitute James Brown.

Rotherham had centre Joe Ewens sin-binned four minutes from time, but it made little difference.




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