Cup win derby confidence boost for Knights

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Rotherham’s confidence was boosted substantially by this success in South Wales in the British and Irish Cup as the Titans begin the build-up to Saturday’s South Yorkshire Championship derby at Clifton Lane against Doncaster.

Progress in the Cup is not a priority of coach Andre Bester, but to leave St.Helen’s with a win, their first in the competition following defeats by Leeds and Nottingham, is an achievement.

Bearing in mind that almost all the Rotherham team were not regular players in the Championship, to overcome Welsh Premiership opponents on their own ground revealed the strength in depth Bester has at his disposal.

Swansea may not have been at their strongest because of injuries to more than a dozen first team players, but this was the best team available and Rotherham rose enthusiastically to the challenge.

Although Swansea, who included two ex-Wales internationals, threatened to score towards the end of the second half, Rotherham were seldom in serious trouble, and stubborn defence by their forwards enabled them to protect their 13-6 lead.

A fine move sent in prop Ben Harris on 47 minutes and with fly half Cliffie Hodgson converting to add to his earlier penalty and a drop goal from 35 metres, Rotherham established control and with Swansea lacking the power to break through, the Titans’ progress was assured. Rotherham’s new on-loan signing from Glasgow Warriors, centre Dave McCall, showed his potential on his debut, but he will quickly find out that the Championship is a much tougher competition.

It’s expected the 24 year old Scot, at Rotherham for a month, will in the squad to take on Doncaster.

Titans: Hamilton, Brierley, McCall, Homan, McMahon, Hodgson, Godfrey, Harris, White, Stout, Noonan, Maddison, Dickinson,Kirwan, Wade. Reps: Stagg, Cahill,Kilbane, Griffiths, Bester, Rhodes, Tellwright.

Try: Harris. Conversion: Hodgson.Penalty: Hodgson. Drop goal: Hodgson.