Cinderford RFC must play with more energy and freedom
ATTACK coach and centre Brad Davies is fully fit to face Richmond and is hoping to fire the Cinderford backline tomorrow.
The 30-year-old played 30 minutes in the 35-5 home defeat at the hands of former Championships boys Doncaster last weekend after being sidelined with an elbow injury.
New recruit Davies admits he was too eager to return to National One action when he played at the Butts Park Arena in their 38-13 loss to Coventry in the second game of the season.
But now, he is fit again and raring to go, urging the backs to play without fear in a tough test at Richmond (3pm).
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The former Gloucester fly-half said: "I guess because I am new to the club, I didn't want to miss the big games early on so I said I was fit before I actually was.
"In the back of my mind I always knew I wasn't. And I struggled when I came on against Coventry and was off the pace.
"But now I am fully fit, it just took a bit longer than I expected. Last week we struggled physically against a bigger Doncaster side and leaking 30 points at home was a wake-up call.
"We could have done more to match them in certain areas. We are a young side, we aren't the biggest, so I think we need to have a lot more energy.
"We need to start playing without the fear of making mistakes. At the moment we are playing within ourselves. We need to stop doing that and express what we are about."
Davies said although the powerful Doncaster unit that turned up to the Beavis Memorial Ground could easily hold their own in the Championship, Cinderford should have done more to keep the ball in hand.
Lessons have been learned. Davies believed the forwards had secured good ball, but the backs lacked the courage to do something effective with it.
But the coach is hoping Richmond, who thrashed Cinderford at home last season, will play a more free-running style of rugby that will play into the hands of the Foresters.
The former Moseley and Plymouth man explained: "If Richmond throw it around a bit, it will suit us. It will be a more open game and we can match that.
"We need to keep the ball for longer. Doncaster didn't do anything spectacular, they didn't do anything very eye-pleasing, but they played basic, low-risk rugby and didn't make many mistakes.
"We need to play a few more phases and respect the ball a bit more. Out set-piece was better; we had decent ball, but couldn't do anything effective with it after that.
"It was like the backs had hit a brick-wall. We need to appreciate the work the forwards have done. We tried everything up front, out wide, with no success. If we secure good set-piece and good ball, we need to use it. We need to be smarter. We need to stop worrying about doing the right thing, if it's on, we go."
Second row Lance Randall will be out after a blow to the ribs against Doncaster, but Bristol prop Will Davis, who has joined the Foresters on loan, will certainly bolster the pack.
Fly-half Mark, younger brother to Brad, is still sidelined with a back injury, so Mike Wilcox will play at 10 once again, with Reece Boughton at scrum-half.
Davies hopes that on the field, he can encourage those youngsters to make the right decisions with the ball in hand to ensure points on the board.