Rotherham Titans steel themselves for Bristol clash

Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans..Rotherham player Luke Carter releases the ball  ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans..Rotherham player Luke Carter releases the ball ..Picture by Simon Hulme
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Rotherham’s scrum half, Luke Carter, 25, faces another demanding personal challenge at Clifton Lane on Saturday when Titans confront Bristol, the Championship leaders and promotion favourites.

In his first season at Rotherham, Carter, who joined from London club Rosslyn Park, would not have expected his new team to be fighting relegation which is the crisis facing the Titans who have lost their last eight games in all competitions.

But the number nine, who has played in 11 league games, is optimistic Rotherham will move up the table in the last eight remaining matches.

“We have the players to turn things round. In the last few games against Cornish Pirates, Leinster and Doncaster we’ve shown what we needed to do and you can’t fault the boys’ efforts and if you look back, there’s been a constant improvement. We must reduce errors and maintain our discipline which we need to work on. I don’t think our confidence has been affected by the losing sequence. What’s frustrating is that Rotherham should have been a top four side again this season. From now on, each game is a huge one in a league.

“The Championship is of a high standard; you look at Bristol, they’ve got a big pack and a good back line, it’s another tough league game for us.”

Carter was recommended to Rotherham by former Titans’ coach Alex Codling who was coaching at Rosslyn Park and thought that his scrum half would be able to make the transition from National One.

“The Championship is definitely a bit quicker, but I think my move north has gone really well. The Rotherham boys look after each other well, so it’s been easy to settle in. I’ve got areas to work on in my game, so I’m always practising passing and kicking and our coach Mark Jones has been a big help.” With injuries to rivals Dan White and Andy Davies, Carter has played more Championship rugby than possibly intended in his first season at this level, but he has made the most of it and Carter needs to maintain his promising start if Rotherham are to recover.