Serious injuries mar Rotherham Titans ambitions

Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans..Rotherham player Charlie Maddison breaks through the Doncaster defence. Picture by Simon Hulme
Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans..Rotherham player Charlie Maddison breaks through the Doncaster defence. Picture by Simon Hulme
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The injury crisis at Rotherham Titans grows worse with the confirmation that the two players hurt in Saturday’s Championship game against Cornish Pirates will be missing for weeks.

Hooker Charlie Maddison and centre Cameron Hudson were both taken off by stretcher with serious ankle injuries.

It is not known how many games each player will miss but in Hudson’s case, it’s thought it is going to be substantial.

On a more positive note, one of Rotherham’s most experienced Championship forwards, flanker Tom Calladine, who suffered a bad hand injury in a pre-season game at Sheffield Tigers in August, is making good progress.

“I expect to be back in full training next week and I hope to be in contention for a place in the squad to face Jersey in two weeks” says the 27 year old.

“But before then, I am hoping to get a game at Sheffield Tigers or Hull Ionians the Saturday after this when the Championship has a blank weekend.

“I can’t wait to play again and I’m chomping at the bit. I’ve been to all the home games since I’ve been out and it’s been frustrating knowing that I could have made a difference in a close match. I’m obviously not match fit but the aim to play some part against Jersey and then, hopefully, to go with Rotherham to Nottingham where I played five seasons. That’s the important one for me,” adds Calladine whose experience at the back of the Titans’ pack has been missed.

The return of the tough forward will be welcomed by skipper and centre Will Owen who leads the side at third placed Ealing Trailfinders tomorrow.

“Tom’s got an old head on his shoulders, he’s physical and abrasive on the park and has played dozens of times in the Championship.

“As regards Ealing, they’ve recruited well, spent money and they’ll play an expansive game on their all-weather pitch.

“We’ll come up against at least three former Rotherham boys. Will Ryan by all accounts is playing well in their forwards, we mustn’t give any space to Curtis Wilson on the wing and I believe Lewis Thiede at prop is one of the best scrummagers in the league.

“So we’ve got to get our set-piece right. Following our win against Pirates, we are under less pressure going to Ealing than we would have been if we had stayed on 11 points. They are an exciting team and we expect a hard game there.”

Titans have now completed a third of their Championship matches, having won three out of seven. Owen sees promising signs: “We are getting better each week and considering we are a young side with limited experience in the Championship, we are doing well. But we have still to put in a performance over 80 minutes that shows our potential. We are consolidating in mid-table and then the aim is to build on that.

“What we have to do is to make fewer mistakes, such as dodgy passes and dropping the ball, but overall I’ve been impressed with our new players like Matt Grange, Matt Dudman, Tom Hicks and Joe Rees.”

Titans from: Goodwin, Thomas, Walsh, Owen, Henry, Robinson, Tresidder, Toby Williams, Graham, Cole, Rees, Herriott, Curry, Hicks, Lawrence, Salmon, Oliver, MacDonald, Kelly, Sanderson, Tom Williams.