Rotherham Titans will look to make it four wins in a row when they travel to Richmond today in a key Greene King IPA Championship fixture.
After two B&I Cup wins – one of which was a 31-10 victory over their opponents today – Titans picked up their first league win two weeks ago, beating Cornish Pirates 27-24.
Head coach Nic Rouse has made just one change from that game, with Luke Cole entering the starting XV at hooker for Jonny Murphy, and believes that the competition for the starting spot has lifted the performance levels of both players.
And even thought they have had a positive few weeks, Rouse knows that it’s important to stay realistic about upcoming matches.
“It’s been great to string a few wins together but we’re not getting carried away and our feet are firmly planted on the ground,” he said. “All we can do as a group is take it one game at a time and give it our best shot on the day.
“We have been improving over the last four weeks and we are particularly pleased with our performances on the field.
“On the back of recent results there is a big buzz around the place, the boys have seen their progression over the last month and they’re really looking forward to the Richmond game.
“It’s been a real collective effort by the lads but Jamie Cooke has enjoyed a good three weeks as has Drew Cheshire, who’s been scoring a lot of tries.”
Both of these two scored tries when the sides met four weeks ago, though Richmond’s line-up was hit by injuries. Lee Millar, who scored four penalties and one conversion in that game, will also be playing today.
That result may have gone the Titans’ way, but Rouse knows that Richmond, ninth in the league in a packed mid-table, will be a tough opponent.
“Richmond are a team that focus very much on their defence and they kick a lot of ball,” he said, “So we’ll need to be good with our returns, we’ll need to match them up front and we’ll need to take our opportunities when they arrive.”
With bottom-club Titans 20 points adrift from London Scottish and Hartpury above them in the table, it is vital for Rotherham to match their performance of a month ago and make it four on the bounce.