Blackett calls for Titans to secure home tie

Rotherham Titans Head Coach, Lee Blackett.
Rotherham Titans Head Coach, Lee Blackett.
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Lee Blackett wants his Rotherham players to keep their foot on the accelerator as they chase home advantage in the quarter-finals of the British and Irish Cup, writes Nick Westby.

The Titans have already progressed to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time after winning Pool C with a game to spare.

But they travel to Bedford needing a win to give them a chance of finishing as one of the four best pool winners to secure a last-eight tie at Clifton Lane.

“A home tie would be massive for us when you look at our record,” said head coach Blackett, whose side have won seven straight games in all competitions, five of those at home.

“That motivation is enough to ensure there will be no slowing down at Bedford.

“They’ve turned the corner and put 50 points past Connaught and beaten London Welsh and London Scottish in their last three home games, so it’s going to be a really tough game.”

Their current run of seven wins in a row is the Titans’ best sequence for 10 years.

Blackett accepts that with five of those at home, the odds were weighted in their favour, but he has still been impressed by the application of his players who have built on their impressive start.

“The players want to keep improving and they want to do something special,” added Blackett of a side that currently sit second in the Greene King IPA Championship.

“It’s an outstanding group of players and it’s easy for me and the coaches right now because they are so hungry to learn and improve themselves.”

Santiago Sodini makes his debut for Doncaster Knights as the National One leaders visit Fylde.

Sodini, 31, an Argentinian-born prop, joined the Knights from Duendes Rugby Club in Rosario, Argentina.

A demanding three-game stretch for Wharfedale begins at Esher today and continues with Rosslyn Park at Threshfields next Saturday and concludes at Coventry on February 1.

The Greens turned in one of their better performances of an impressive season when they beat Esher at home earlier in the campaign, but they will have to replicate that in Surrey if they are to defeat a team that has lost just once at home.