Rested Titans bid to build on win at Doncaster

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refreshed after a week off following their win in the South Yorkshire derby against Doncaster, Rotherham’s players report back for training today as they begin their preparations for the Championship game at home to Cornish Pirates on Saturday.

Coach Alex Codling wants the team to capitalise on the progress which was clear as the second half unfolded at Castle Park.

“Against Bristol and Newcastle there were clear signs that we were not that far from a win which is why I was so delighted with the performance at Doncaster where we built on our efforts in the previous matches,” he said.

“We have four league games remaining against Pirates, Leeds, Moseley and London Scottish and I want us to finish the season with real momentum.”

Unless any injuries occur before Saturday, Codling is expected to put out the same squad which triumphed at Castle Park.

By their usual high standards, Cornish Pirates, sixth in the Championship, have not enjoyed the best of seasons, and it would be a surprise if they reached the promotion play-offs, but their chances should not be dismissed entirely.

Codling’s aim will be to make sure that Rotherham deliver a much more competitive performance than they managed in the first league meeting this season in November at Penzance where the Titans were beaten 53-21.

Whoever in the Rotherham side marks winger or full back Matt Evans, Pirates’ top try scorer with 12 in the league, must have their wits about them because Evans is one of the most dangerous players in the Championship as is the experienced scrum half Gavin Cattle.

Another Pirates player the Titans must avoid giving scoring opportunities to is fly half Keiran Hallett, an accurate goal kicker who has scored 122 points in the Championship. In what should be a close game, given Rotherham’s home advantage,the outcome could depend on the form of Hallett and Titans goal kicker Garry Law, Rotherham’s top points scorer with 148.

The win at Doncaster kept Titans eighth in the table. A look at the Championship stats shows that Rotherham are joint equal with leaders Newcastle Falcons when it comes to the award of penalty tries - five.

This reflects the strength of the Rotherham pack, which will again be faced by highly competitive opponents on Saturday who arrive at Clifton Lane keen to improve on their last league performance, a narrow win in Penzance by 17-14 against Moseley.