- Titans veteran believes Rotherham can win play-offs
- Promotion is "there for the taking" says Kilbane
Photo: RFU archive
As Rotherham Titan's current longest-serving player, Jamie Kilbane has high hopes for the club he's served for seven years.
With the Championship play-offs just around the corner the 28-year-old, who made his debut for the club back in 2005, believes promotion is a realistic prospect for the Titans who currently sit sixth in the table.
Kilbane has featured in 18 of Titans' 21 Championship matches this season and says he is "fully committed" to helping Rotherham achieve promotion to the Aviva Premiership with the team hitting their stride just in time for the play-offs.
Ahead of Titans' home match against London Scottish on Saturday, the loose-head prop discusses Rotherham's progress this season and how he is striving for more consistency in his own performances.
How do you rate Rotherham’s season so far?
This season I think we’ve done really well although I think we’ve under-performed in a few matches – certainly in the games we’ve lost against teams in a lower league position than us [which] we should have won. Esher away on New Year’s Eve was particularly disappointing. But on the whole I think we’re doing quite well, we haven’t quite hit our stride yet, we had an early spurt at the start of the season and hopefully now things are picking up again ready for the playoffs.
How would you rate your performances on a personal level this season?
It’s hard to say. As a player you don’t personally rate your performances [and] it’s all really about the opinions of the coaching staff. I think my form has been mixed; some matches I’ve played really well and others I haven’t met the targets that the coaching staff have set me, so I am striving to be more consistent.
How far do you think Rotherham can go in this year’s play-offs?
I think especially this year of all years we can win it. There’s no doubt in my mind because essentially we’ve beaten every team in the top 8, apart from ourselves, although some may argue we have beaten ourselves in a few matches! This year’s league is wide open and promotion is there for the taking.
What’s your personal ambition with Rotherham and how far do you think you can go with the club?
I don’t think there’s a big gap between the Premiership and the Championship anymore. The last four or five years the level has improved and I feel like I have improved alongside that. So if Rotherham get promoted I would like to feel that I would be there with them, but again it really comes down to the coaching staff and Andre’s [Bester] decisions. It really comes down to what he thinks is best for Rotherham’s future. But certainly I would love to go all the way with Rotherham. I’ve been here for seven years so I’m fully committed to the cause.
Despite not being personally involved on Saturday, what’s the mood been like in training following that dramatic win over Doncaster?
I think the mood has been good; you don’t tend to dwell too much on performances. What we have done is looked at the mistakes we’ve made and where we made them and worked towards rectifying them. Hopefully now we won’t be making the same mistakes again. We’re all now focused again on raising our level for the play-offs and we’ve had a particularly difficult week in training. We’re just looking forward again now to the weekend and our game against London Scottish.
Does the victory inspire confidence in the side and show you can beat the teams around you in the League?
Of course, Clifton Lane has always been a fortress. In the Championship it’s always been difficult to get wins away from home; undoubtedly every home team has a massive advantage. The fact that it was a derby and against Doncaster makes it extra special and it has boosted our confidence. But at the same time we realise it’s only one game and it hasn’t made anybody complacent. We had the wonder kick at the end but we also had some good phases during the game. It’s now about putting it all together and finding consistency in our performance as we head for the play-offs.