Bester looking for fans to play big role

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rugby union: Andre Bester hopes Rotherham Titans’ players and fans will continue to make Clifton Lane a place to be feared for opposing Championship teams this season.

The exposed pitch on the tops of Rotherham is one of the hardest grounds to visit in rugby’s second tier and is often a contributing factor to the Titans punching above their weight year after year.

Established promotion contenders Bedford Blues lost there 12 months ago and know full well what awaits them there tomorrow.

Bester said: “Clifton Lane has always been a fortress for any Rotherham team. The support we have got here is fantastic, we’re talking about a 16th man – they are that good.

“Clifton Lane is an environment where other teams don’t want to go. They know we are a fairly direct team and they don’t like it.

“Allied to that, the crowd is on top of them and they get on their backs. As a player it’s a match they’ll always remember, but one they’ll not want to repeat.”

Bester’s Rotherham go into the match still searching for their first win of the season after losing at London Scottish last Saturday.

Despite the reverse, the South African was encouraged by the endeavour of his players.

“Winning away from home in this league is very difficult, so I wasn’t disappointed at all,” he said. “I asked for a performance and we were by far the better team. I just felt we didn’t get the rub of the green.

“There was nobody at fault. It was an absolutely outstanding work ethic and that ethos will help the team.

“All I want this week is an extra 10 per cent because Bedford Blues are always an exceptionally tough team to play.

“They have not had much of a turnover of staff and have players who have been at the club for about 10 years.

“They’re closer to a total game than we are due to that and because building teams takes time.”