Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans: blood and guts derby

Tom Holmes goes on the attack
Tom Holmes goes on the attack

As Rotherham prepare for their biggest game of the season, the derby against Doncaster Knights at Castle Park on Sunday, Titans’ skipper Tom Holmes, has promised that his side will come out with all guns blazing.

They will need to considering Rotherham’s position in the Championship: ninth in the table with only London Scottish, Ealing and Moseley below them and the Titans’ recent record, seven consecutive defeats in all competitions, suggests they could be second best again on Sunday.

Holmes, though, says Rotherham should be encouraged by the improved form they revealed last weekend in Dublin against Leinster in the British and Irish Cup when they scored four tries, but still lost by 43-24.

“We are getting to where we need to be. The building blocks are being put into place and the set piece, our scrums and line outs, worked well. On Sunday, we are determined to put on a performance which is worthy of our fans because the players know what beating Doncaster means to the club and our supporters. The stakes are high in because our league position doesn’t look good, but with a couple of wins, things change. We must keep our discipline, stay positive, front up in the forwards and make sure that our backs use the ball effectively.

“Our training has been really good, we’ve grafted hard and we are getting things right. Sunday’s game is one of those big occasions why being a Rotherham player is so special.

“It will be all blood and guts and Rotherham must make the most of being live on Sky. Doncaster are playing well; we will have our work cut out to win.”

Rotherham have won the last seven Championship games between the two clubs, but form so far this season points firmly in the direction of a Doncaster win.

Doncaster are almost 20 points ahead of Rotherham in the Championship.

Knights are second in the league with nine wins from 13 matches and are among the favourites to reach the promotion play-offs by finishing in the top four- Rotherham’s achievement in the last two seasons, but a target the Titans are unlikely to accomplish again this year.