Titans go into round 5 of the Greene Kind IPA Championship this week, fully prepared for a testing challenge when they entertain Richmond at Clifton Lane of Saturday; kick-off 2pm.
Following their high-scoring Championship thriller in Penzance last week, where the Titans ended up on the wrong side of a 62-47 score line, they remain the only club in the division still looking for their first win of the season.
Rotherham would have been delighted to have scored 7 tries in the Duchy, but distressed that they conceded 8 at the other end. However, the green shoots of progress were there to be seen as this young, inexperienced Titans squad showed further signs of a group beginning the gel.
That progress will need to continue the upward trend this weekend against a Richmond side that will be full of confidence following their opening win of the campaign last week against Jersey.
Going into the game Rotherham have made 4 changes to their starting XV, three of which come in the pack.
At loose head prop Toby Williams gets the nod over Tom Williams, at hooker Luke Cole starts for the injured Jonny Murphy, who suffered a first-half head injury in Cornwall and in the second row Rob Louw returns from a rib injury for James Lasis.
The only change across the backline sees Drew Cheshire come in at outside centre for Luke Peters who picked up a dead-leg at Pirates.
On the bench Titans have brought in hooker Nic Dolly on dual-registered terms from Premiership side Sale Sharks and Ifereimi Boladau returns following a shoulder injury he picked up in the Doncaster Knights game.
Reflecting on last week’s high-scoring defeat at Cornish Pirates and looking ahead to the Richmond game, Titans Andy Key explained, “We have to take the positives from the Pirates game, especially because of where we are right now. We’re very appreciative that you can’t go and score 7 tries and then concede 8; that just doesn’t work and I’m pretty certain that we’re not going to play another game where we score 47 points and don’t come away with the win.
“We went down by 14 points inside the first 6 minutes, which was very disappointing and we just weren’t at the races at the start. Our ability then to put our game plan into operation and to get into the areas we wanted to attack I thought was very good.
“We showed skill and pace at times and our ability to move the ball was good: but overall in a game we felt we could win, we just lacked that little bit of composure and game management at the end to get us over the line.
“In Richmond we know we’re in for another tough encounter. I think it’s more of, not what we can do with the ball, but what we can do positively without it. We need to make sure we don’t give any of their danger runners the opportunity to get onto the front foot and we’ve got to be right in their faces; we’ve been working on those things in training this week.
“Richmond are a side that like to play, they are very much a fluid side and they try to keep the ball alive. So it’s very much about containing them and taking their space and trying to prevent them getting the ball on the front foot. If we can do that then I’d like to think it will be a difficult day for them.”
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Ben Foley, 13 Drew Cheshire, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Jake Henry, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 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 Nic Dolly, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Ifereimi Boladau, 20 Francisco Vieira, 21 Caolan Ryan, 22 Yiannis Loizias.