Titans in race to get skipper Dickinson fit for Albion clash

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Rotherham Titans, now fourth in the Championship on 37 points, today begin preparations for the clash against third from bottom Plymouth Albion, at Clifton Lane on Saturday.

One priority this week is to try to ensure that skipper and second row forward Sam Dickinson is fit to return to the side.

Dickinson, who missed Friday night’s narrow 25-19 defeat against Leeds Carnegie at Headingley, injured his ribs during the South Yorkshire derby against Doncaster just over a week ago.

As Rotherham coach Andre Bester plots the downfall of Plymouth, beaten 24-9 by London Welsh on Saturday, he is fortunate that none of his players was injured at Leeds where the Titans earned a losing bonus point in a bruising and close contest.

“The important thing is that we didn’t leave empty handed,” says Bester. “We went toe to toe with Leeds and we saw two evenly matched teams, and if we compete against them in the promotion play-offs, it will be close again.

“I am sure Rotherham will be towards the top of the Championship at the end of the first half of the season. The difference on Friday was that in fly half Joe Ford, Leeds had a great kicking game.

“We didn’t really have an answer to that, but next time we’ll know how to cope with it.”

Rotherham’s leading try scorer, Irish flanker Robin Copeland, who has scored eight in the Championship, including one against Leeds on Friday, suffered a dead leg at the end of the game.

“It’s a bit sore, but I’m sure I’ll be fit for the Plymouth match,” explained Copeland.

“Headingley is a difficult ground to play on at night because of the glare of the flood lights when you are taking a high ball.

“I didn’t think Leeds had much to offer other than a kicking game,” Copeland said.

Rotherham’s efforts in a thrilling battle whose outcome was uncertain until the final whistle were praised by Leeds’ coach Diccon Edwards:

“Their attitude was excellent. I am sure Rotherham will make the promotion play-offs. No team wants to go there or wants to play them. I know we wouldn’t relish playing them again.”