Head coach Lee Blackett says the players of Rotherham Titans deserve all the credit for securing play-off rugby for the second season running.
Rotherham’s 22-10 win at Nottingham on Friday night all-but ensured consecutive fourth-place finishes for the Clifton Lane side who, barring an enormous mathematical swing, will contest the Championship’s promotion play-offs once again.
Rotherham would have to lose by 60 points against London Scottish at their alternative home venue of Abbeydale on Saturday, while Nottingham would need to win by in excess of 60 points at Bedford.
Blackett is not counting his chickens just yet, but knows that for a club on one of the smallest budgets in the second tier to have backed up what they achieved last year, is a marvellous effort.
“If it happens I’ll be really proud of everyone to have achieved it again,” said Blackett, who from the start of the season refused to allow his team to publically target the top four.
“It’s great for the boys who stayed with us from last year.
“We lost a lot of crucial players at the end of last season and people doubted whether we could match what we achieved the year before.
“When people doubt you it drives you on. People have put us down through the year but the boys have kept working hard and they never gave up on finishing in the top four.
“As it stands we’re finishing the season winning five of our last six games. That’s a clear sign of the form of our team.
“We lost a bit of confidence in and around Christmas and we had to adapt, but by reaching the top four again the boys have got what they deserved.”
Rotherham’s victory on Friday night at Nottingham was built on their solid defence. They deprived their hosts even a losing bonus point which would have made this coming Saturday’s final fixtures more interesting.
“It was a solid performance and job done,” said Blackett.
Rotherham’s reward for an expected fourth-place finish is a two-legged semi-final against either Bristol or Worcester, with the table-toppers to be decided by a meeting between the two in the final round of regular-season fixtures.