DESPITE his side’s eight-match losing run, head coach Mark Jones insists Rotherham Titans can cause Championship leaders Bristol problems today.
Few people will give the struggling South Yorkshire club – now perilously close to the relegation zone – any hope of achieving anything from the Clifton Lane fixture.
Last week’s defeat at derby rivals Doncaster Knights was another largely self-inflicted loss and big-spending Bristol will be similarly punishing of any errors.
“They are a quality side and they can threaten you from all areas of the park,” admitted Jones. “However, we are excited about the challenge in front of us; the league leaders are coming and it’s a real opportunity to measure ourselves against them.
“We have to make sure we pay them the respect they deserve and we’ll do that but if we are at our best with our own game we can cause them some problems as we did when we went to Ashton Gate earlier in the season.”
They trailed there just 7-5 at half-time in October – but eventually fell 28-12.
Second-placed Doncaster, meanwhile, are at Ealing Trailfinders this afternoon as they seek to keep the pressure on Bristol.
With fly-half Declan Cusack and goal-kicking winger Dougie Flockhart missing after picking up injuries against Rotherham, there is a recall for Tyson Lewis while Clive Griffiths has also borrowed Will Owen and Ollie Bryant from Leicester Tigers.
Director of rugby Griffiths said: “We’ve still got to win another two or three games I think to make sure we’re in that top four and the sooner we do that the better. We know what to expect at Ealing on their plastic pitch and and we’ve had to make some changes but we’re looking forward to this.”