Rugby Union: Titans look to make home advantage count

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With home advantage in the derby against Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday, Rotherham Titans are well placed to regain their form in the Championship which has suffered since the start of the new year.

In six league games, Rotherham have been disappointing: three defeats by Nottingham, Plymouth and, not surprisingly, Worcester Warriors, just the two wins against Doncaster and Bedford and a draw with Jersey.

So, now that the Titans are back again at Clifton Lane, they should be inspired to reproduce the confident style that has already seen them beat the Leeds club twice this season.

A solid all-round effort at Scarborough’s ground in October delivered a 20-3 victory in the British and Irish Cup and then four weeks later in the first of the Championship contests, Rotherham defended quite superbly at Headingley to overcome their Yorkshire rivals by 6-0.

However, in the return B and I Cup game at Clifton Lane in December, Carnegie were the better side on the day, winning a close match by 28-22.

Yorkshire Carnegie, whose Championship form has been mediocre with nine defeats in 15 games, prepared successfully for the derby by trouncing Nottingham 43-14 at Headingley- a victory that took them to eighth in the table with 31 points, only three behind Rotherham who remain fifth on 34.

Winger Jonah Holmes, scorer of three tries, is one of several dangerous players that will need tight marking as will skipper and number eight, Ryan Burrows, a familiar face at Rotherham for four successful years before his move to Headingley in the 2011-12 season.

Titans coach Lee Blackett understands fully the strength of the Carnegie pack and is aware, too, that his opposite number, Tommy McGee, still retains hopes of securing a place again in the promotion play-offs as do Rotherham which is why Saturday’s game is so important.

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