Rotherham Titans gear up for local derby as league starts to take shape
The Clifton Land side and Leeds Tykes have opened up a gap at the top of National Two North, both winning all their games and the Tykes two points better off by virtue of two extra four-try bonus points.
The two meet at the end of November, but in the meantime there’s plenty of rugby to be played as the league settles down.
"The league is taking a pattern,” said Titans head coach Gary Pearce. “There are a lot of sides positioned 3, 4, 5 and 6 who can cause you problems and on their day can beat anybody and can beat each other. We have just broken away from that but it’s early doors.
"We feel that winning at Wharfedale and Tynedale already will be good results for us because they will be hard places to go, as Wharfedale showed by beating Fylde the other week.
"We haven’t had the bonus points in two games that we should have got but bonus points aren’t going to lose us the league. Wins on the board will be ey. Leeds have got to beat us twice to win the league and there’s a long way to go.”
Saturday is Rotherham’s last match before a three-week break.
Titans, then under Adam Byron, were pressed hard before coming through to win 36-26 at Abbeydale last season and Sheffield have had a decent start, winning three.
"It’s a derby and if you can't get up for the derby games then you might as well stay in bed,” said Pearce. “There’s bragging rights and a bit of pride about all that. Anthony Posa (coach) has done well with Sheffield. It should be exciting and hopefully we get a good crowd.”
New winger Jack Render, brought in from Hunslet Rugby League, will be pushing for another start after his debut against Fylde last week.
Added Pearce: “Jack has played at a reasonably good level at League. He’s quick, he’s good defensively, he tackles and has really good hand skills, as Rugby League lads do. I think he had a really good debut. It’s a big ask to come in against one of the best attacking sides in the league like Fylde but we have loads of confidence in him.”
Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm.