Smart Alex gets a final feeling for Titans

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With only three points separating Rotherham and Bristol from the first leg (17-14) in the promotion play-offs, the Titans still have an excellent chance of going through to the final.

That will be against either Leeds Carnegie or London Welsh.

A crowd of more than 3,000 is expected at Abbeydale, home of Sheffield RUFC, for Saturday’s return leg and once again one of Rotherham’s most important players will be flanker Alex Rieder.

He was awarded the Sky Man of the Match for his efforts at the Memorial Stadium as the Titans came close to causing a major upset.

“I was really pleased and it was a great feeling, but it was really an honour for the whole squad because we put in a good team performance.

“Looking ahead to Saturday, we will, I am sure, have the same game plan which is to make sure that Bristol don’t score in the opening 20 minutes when we must defend well.

“We must slow them down and have to back ourselves. Bristol will be feeling under pressure and I think they will be thinking ahead to the final.

“But they now realise they are in a fight against a side who can beat them. Bristol will be nervous and one penalty by us in the first 20 minutes means we are level.

“We like the big, wide pitch at Abbeydale and the atmosphere will be great because we will have hundreds of fans backing us.

“The team are disappointed that we are not playing at Clifton Lane, but many of our supporters will travel to Sheffield.

“The match could be the last in a Rotherham shirt for some of our players who are leaving. So we must give a good account of ourselves and give boys like Charlie Mulchrone and Juan Pablo Socino a great send-off.

“We genuinely think we can beat Bristol, we must get the scrum right and we must not let ourselves down.”