Performance key for Leeds and Titans as Knights are crushed

The British and Irish Cup occupies a weekend slot for the first time this season as Leeds and Rotherham look to continue their strong league form.

Leeds, in particular, are on an impressive run at the moment, with last Sunday’s narrow win over Nottingham stretching their unbeaten league sequence to five games.

They entertain Scottish side Currie tomorrow with head coach Diccon Edwards stressing the importance of retaining an intensity of performance.

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Edwards said: “We certainly want to keep improving our performance and building on the good things we have done in the recent wins.

“There are other areas that we want to improve on and we have been working hard on that in training this week.

“We are pleased with how we are pulling things together and we have an important game at Esher next week so ideally we want to keep up that winning feeling this week.

“In all honesty we don’t know too much about Currie, however, that is not to say we are not giving them the utmost respect. In competitions like the British and Irish Cup, it gives you the opportunity to really focus on your own performance and make sure that you deliver.”

Rotherham Titans’ rise to second in the Championship table was cut short by Cornish Pirates last week.

They are on their travels again today as they head to south Wales to face Swansea in the B&I Cup, with flanker Sean Dougall tasking his side with a return to the kind of form that saw them defeat three table-topping teams over the last two months.

Dougall said: “The result last week was a bit of an anti-climax because we thought we could get a result down there. But we just gave the ball away on far too many occasions.

“Maybe we were trying too hard, maybe we were too confident going in, I can’t really put my finger on what it was.

“We are going to have days like that, we’re going to have off days when everything doesn’t go your way, whether that be the referee or the bounce of the ball.”

“But we need to make sure that we come back from this quickly and be ready for the next game.”

Doncaster Knights were thrashed 39-7 by Ulster Ravens in Northern Ireland last night.

A largely experimental team fielded by head coach Brett Davey, who named himself among the backs, were always up against it in poor conditions.

Their sole try came in the first half from a rolling maul which PJ Gidlow touched down from, David McIlwaine converting.