Titans must stiffen defence

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Rotherham Titans, whose Championship promotion campaign is in trouble after successive defeats, are hoping top forward Rob O’Donnell will be fit for Sunday’s play-off at Cornish Pirates.

The prop missed the derby at Castle Park on Saturday because he had not recovered from a rib injury suffered in the first play-off game against Bedford.

If O’Donnell is back, Rotherham’s forwards will be much more competitive, and collectively the team is far better placed to offer a genuine challenge.

This week’s training sessions have been stressing the importance of tightening Rotherham’s defence which has let in 14 tries in the two play-off games, so, not surprisingly, the Titans are bottom of Pool B with only one point. Meanwhile, Pirates are riding high at the top of Rotherham’s group.Pirates have beaten Doncaster 33-25 and then last weekend they won at Bedford.

They stuttered initially against Lynn Howell’s side, and if Rotherham are able to take the game to them as Doncaster did, a closer result may be the outcome. Titans have to find a replacement for centre Byron Godfrey whose jaw was smashed in last Saturday’s game. Godfrey’s place could go to Jonathan McMahon, a Hallam University student.