Rotherham Titans and Leeds Carnegie continue their push for the play-offs this weekend against established Championship teams fallen on hard times.
Bedford welcome Rotherham to Goldington Road in a televised game this evening that has as much relevance to the top of the table as it does at the bottom.
That it is Rotherham looking for the win to cement their place in the top four and not Bedford, who are not yet mathematically safe, says everything about how well the Titans have done this season and how far the Blues have fallen.
Runners-up last term and play-off semi-finalists in each of the previous three years, they have suffered greatly this season, but Rotherham’s record in league competition at Goldington Road is desperate, with no wins for seven years.
“We’ve come off two great performances in a row and we’ve got back on track since the Bristol game and we’re building momentum,” said Titans head coach Lee Blackett.
“We need to stay focused. It’s a huge game on TV and we’ll be doing our very best to keep that momentum going.”
Leeds – who are above Rotherham on points difference in third – travel to third-bottom Nottingham, whose plight is worse than Bedford’s.
Carnegie head coach James Lowes is focussing only on his side’s form, though, which aside from defeats by potential play-off opponents London Welsh and Bristol this calendar year, has been impressive.
“It’s there in the back of your mind the opportunity to get in that top four, but let’s do the week-to-week thing first and the rest will take care of itself,” he said. “The top four teams do play a bit; ourselves, Welsh, Bristol and Rotherham all like to sling the ball around so it can be entertaining rugby.”