Round four of the Greene King IPA Championship sees Rotherham Titans make the long journey to Cornwall, fully prepared to face what is expected to be a testing challenge against Cornish Pirates; kick-off at the Mennaye Field on Sunday is 2:30pm.
Going into the game Titans have made three changes to the starting XV which lost to Hartpury last time out at Clifton Lane.
The sole change along the backline sees winger Ben Foley come in for Drew Cheshire; whilst in the pack Tom Williams is given the nod over Toby Williams at loose head prop and Irish hooker Jonny Murphy starts his first game, as Luke Cole drops to the bench.
Commenting ahead of the game, Titans Andy Key explained, “Reflecting on our last game against Hartpury we saw the boys put in a much-improved performance. However, at the time it was really disappointing that we conceded so many points within a short period in the first half, after being camped in their 22 for long spells and only coming away with 3 points.
“In the second half we found it difficult to come back from that, although we did manage to get to 21-22 by playing the style of rugby we want to play. The review showed that we missed a number of opportunities, so we know we’re not too far away and the feeling inside the camp is onwards and upwards.
“We’ll need to continue our improvement this week when we take on the Pirates. This is a challenge for a lot of guys in more ways than one; none more so than preparing yourself for a long weekend and for a tough 80 minutes of rugby on Sunday.
“There’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes in, none more so than the travelling that we’ve got to deal with and irrespective of if you win or lose, you’ve got a trip coming back through the middle of the night.
“Pirates are always a tough side on their own paddock, I think they play the conditions and the pitch really well and they know how to deal with that.
“We expect nothing other than a physical encounter; they’re probably not too dissimilar to Doncaster in that they have big forwards and they carry, but they also have the ability to get it into the wide channels. They’ve got some very quick and tasty wingers with good footwork and we know they are a good all-round side.
Everything we have done in training this week has been very positive and productive, our preparations have gone well and if we perform to our abilities we believe we have a game which is capable of getting the right result.”
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Jake Henry, 13 Luke Peters, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Ben Foley, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Tom Williams, 2 Jonny Murphy, 3 Matt Shields, 4 James Lasis, 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Adam Peters, 7 Tom Calladine (Capt.), 8 Dan Grange.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cole, 17 Toby Williams, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Tom Burns, 20 Francisco Vieira, 21 Caolan Ryan, 22 Drew Cheshire.