Vile milestone is bad news for Rotherham
November 18, 2000

Bristol eased themselves away from Rotherham at the foot of the Premiership table thanks to the boot of the New Zealand fly-half Steven Vile who has now notched 150 points in the league.

Both sides scored tries late in the game through scrum-half Gareth Baber for Bristol and lock Chris Murphy for the visitors. But it some some poor discipline from Rotherham that let them down as Vile landed three second-half penalties.

``We didn't have the ball for long periods in the first half, all credit to Rotherham, and it was important that we were patient and didn't go after something that wasn't there,'' said Bristol coach Dean Ryan.

``We talked at half time about the need to be complete in everything that we did otherwise they were going to take an opportunity. Sadly we gave a try away shortly after the restart and that made it a tough fight for the rest of the game.''

Bristol had led 16-6 at the interval through a try from number eight Ben Sturnham, his first for the club, with Vile converting and adding three penalties.

Rotherham's new fly-half signing Luke Smith, a 29-year-old South African who has played for Natal, Glasgow Caledonians, Racing Club de Paris and Border replied with two of his three penalty attempts.

But as Ryan had predicted in the dressing room at half time Rotherham ceased the initiative after the break to level the scores.

Scrum-half Dave Scully put Rotherham skipper Mike Umaga away under the posts after right wing Martin Dawson was unable to hold on to a pass from Scully minutes earlier when the line was at his mercy.

Ryan added: ``We didn't play our best and credit to Rotherham _ they fought very hard and made us work hard. But we ensured that we didn't crumble when the pressure came on.

``We missed a couple of opportunities in the first half but in the ten minutes before the break we played some of our best rugby. The second half was about snatching opportunities, getting in the right position and maximising what we could get.''

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