Rotherham Titans go into round 6 of the Greene Kind IPA Championship fully prepared for a testing challenge when they travel to Bedford Blues on Saturday; kick-off at Goldington Road is 3pm.
Following last week’s disappointing home defeat to Richmond, Titans will be eager to put in a performance that will put them in a position to notch-up their first victory of the season.
Going into the game Titans have made three changes to their starting XV, all of which come in the backline.
A new half back partnership sees Francisco Vieira make his first start at scrum half for Rhodri Davies who injured his shoulder against Richmond last week and Caolan Ryan makes his first start of the season at fly half for Lee Millar who drops to the bench.
The final change sees centre Luke Peters return to the side following his one week absence following a dead-leg sustained at Cornish Pirates; he comes in for Drew Cheshire.
Commenting ahead of the match, Titans Andy Key explained, “I was pleased with the 3 tries we scored against Richmond last week and I was pleased with what we did in certain areas when we had the ball, but unfortunately we’re not perhaps managing the game as we need to. Once or twice in the game we saw ourselves take the lead only for us to give it up fairly quickly and by doing that we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
“At the moment we’re doing lots of work and I do think we’re moving in the right direction, we’ve just got to stop the opposition scoring. I know that’s quite a simple way of looking at it, but if you do that you’ve got a fair chance of winning games.
“We’ve scored 12 tries in the last three games, so we know we’re capable of scoring, but we have to make sure we stop the opposition from doing the same.
“We’ll go to Bedford on Saturday having had a good week’s preparation. The concentration and commitment to the task in hand has been absolutely superb and I can’t fault the guys at all. It’s now about what we’re doing in training, putting that into practice on Saturday and I’m confident that we’re moving in the right direction.
“Bedford play a nice brand of rugby as they have done for many years now under Mike Rayer. They have some exciting backs, they’ve got a good back three and good centres and with Lee Dickson at scrum half, who has 18 caps for England going to them from Northampton, they have a great asset who with his experience will help them to gel and perform at the level they need to.
“So we’re under no illusions; we know Bedford are a good side and they don’t lose too many on their own patch. We know we’ll have to perform to the levels I know we are capable of achieving and if we do that then we can put them under pressure and come out with the right result for us.”
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Ben Foley, 13 Luke Peters, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Jake Henry, 10 Caolan Ryan, 9 Francisco Vieira, 1 Toby Williams, 2 Luke Cole, 3 Matt Shields, 4 Rob Louw, 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Adam Peters, 7 Tom Calladine (Capt.), 8 Dan Grange.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Drew Cheshire, 21 Lee Millar, 22 Yiannis Loizias.