Rotherham Titans target derby derailment of Doncaster Knights

Titans hooker Charlie Maddison is fit to face Doncaster Knights

Titans hooker Charlie Maddison is fit to face Doncaster Knights

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Mark Jones has called upon his Rotherham Titans side to derail the ‘well-oiled’ Doncaster Knights machine when they travel to their on-form rivals on Sunday.

The Titans head across South Yorkshire on a run of seven straight defeats while the Knights saw their 12 match unbeaten run ended in British and Irish Cup defeat to Jersey last weekend.

Despite the superb form of their neighbours, Jones took heart from the trouble he saw Jersey give Doncaster.

“As far as Doncaster are concerned, what we have to do is stop a well-oiled machine that has strong traits,” the coach said. “We know full well what they are capable of and it’s interesting that the Jersey forwards put Doncaster under a lot of pressure in last week’s B&I Cup game.”

The derby will be televised live on Sky and Jones is keen for his men to do themselves justice in front of the cameras.

He said: “We are genuinely excited about Sunday’s derby.

“It’s an incentive to us that we’re on Sky. We go there as massive underdogs and no one is expecting us to win.

“But I know we are a far better side than our results show.

“What we have to do is make sure we deliver on Sunday what we do in training every session we have.

“We must play to our standards. I know we are lacking cohesion in certain areas of our game.

“But we showed big improvement against Leinster who were very complimentary about us.”

Two Titans forwards face late fitness tests.

Their most experienced forward, second row Barney Maddison is struggling with a knee issue while former Sheffield Tigers number eight Josh Redfern has a foot injury. Both men have been in training this week but Jones is not 100 per cent sure of their availability.

Hooker Charlie Maddison has recovered from a hamstring strain and will compete for the role Darran Harris who made an impressive return in the defeat at Leinster A.

Jones is expected to name a similar matchday squad this weekend to that which travelled to Dublin.

He must chose whether to start with experienced Championship operator James McKinney at fly half or opt for Ross Jones who impressed against Leinster.

Rotherham Titans from: Scanlon, Keating, Davies, Barker, J. Hayes, Jones, Carter, Hislop, Sinclair, Preece, Tampin, Thiede, C.Maddison, Holmes, B.Maddison, Argyle, Birch, Cree, Calladine, Redfern, Harris, Williams, Elliot, Gill, Goodwin, Oram, L.Hayes.