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RFU Championship

TITANS coach Andre Bester showed his mind is firmly set on securing a place in the Championship promotion play offs after making 15 changes for the British and Irish Cup clash at Pontypridd.

Rotherham lost 21-12 at Pontypridd, all but ending their hopes of progression from Pool D.

But Bester was clearly more interested in the league visit of London Welsh which took place last night as he looks to avoid another scrap in the relegation play offs.

Just five regular first team players made the trip to Wales with the rest of the squad made up including a trio of talented youngsters from Sheffield and Hallam universities.

New signing from Cambridge, prop Mark Gregory made a successful debut in the pack.

Wing forward Wayne O’Connor struck early in the match for the home side, touching down after just six minutes for a try which stand-off Dean Gunter converted.

Centre Dafydd Lockyer added a second after 14 minutes, and with Gunter adding the extras the Titans found themselves 14-0 down with as many minutes gone.

Late in the half Rotherham did open their account with first team regular Pete Swatkins touching down and Cliff Hodgson adding the conversion.

After the break Rotherham continued to defend well, and they narrowed the gap to 14-12 with Sheffield student winger McMahon scoring a try on 65 minutes.

But that was to be as close as they came with Pontypridd adding a third try with five minutes remaining as scrum-half Rhys Downes jinked through for a try which replacement stand-off Simon Humberstone converted.

The Titans are back in B&I Cup action this weekend as they host Ayr on Saturday in a 2pm kick off.

On Tuesday evening they visit Nottingham in a 7.45pm kick off which is live on Sky Sports.