Titans go into round 16 of the Greene King IPA Championship on Saturday ready and fully prepared to take on the challenge that visitors Bedford Blues will present; kick off at Clifton Lane is 2pm.
Titans’ recent good run of form was broken at Richmond last time out as they disappointingly went down 11-3 at the Athletic Ground, meaning the opportunity of registering a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions was lost. The South Yorkshire side’s performance was littered with uncharacteristic errors at crucial moments, which cost them the chance of victory.
This week Rotherham will be determined to rectify the wrongs from last week and in turn keep alive their aspirations for Championship rugby for next term.
However, the Blues are enjoying a successful season and currently sit in fifth spot just 2 points adrift of Yorkshire Carnegie in third. All of which means Bedford will be confident of providing the home side with a stern examination of their credentials which in turn provides all the ingredients to deliver a Championship thriller on Saturday.
Going into the game Titans have made just two changes to the XV which started in the capital seven days ago. Up front hooker Luke Cole is given the nod over Jonny Murphy who drops to the bench, whilst in the backs Rory Jennings (Dual-registered from Bath Rugby) is promoted from the bench for the injured Joe Barker who sustained a foot injury against Richmond.
Speaking ahead of the Blues visit, Titans Nic Rouse explained, “Against Richmond we were pretty disappointing on the day and unfortunately we didn’t quite execute the plays we wanted to. We did create a few opportunities, but we made too many errors. In total we made 26 errors and gave away 11 penalties and you can’t expect to win a game of rugby with those kind of stats.
“This week against Bedford we’ll need to be much better and we‘ll need to execute our game plan more effectively because they’re a great side and are probably one of the best teams in the division. I would say they are definitely a top four side and they will present us with a massage challenge.
“When we played them down there earlier in the season we put them under masses of pressure up front, not so much in the scrum because they have a very good scrum, but definitely in the maul we did that and had some success. On the flip side they are very good at that and they have threats all over the place. They have some very exciting backs and they are good to watch when they’re in full flow.
“But this game is at Clifton Lane and if we can put the pressure on them like we did down there and like we have at home over the last month then we should be in for a good game. We have won our last two games here and we’ll have a big focus on continuing that run.”
Titans: 15 Caolan Ryan, 14 Drew Cheshire, 13 Jamie Cooke, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Will Thomas, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Toby Williams, 2 Jonny Murphy, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Rob Louw, 5 James Lasis, 6 Adam Peters, 7 Charlie Maddison, 8 Tom Calladine (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Luke Cole, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Tom Burns, 21 Ben Foley, 22 Jake Henry.