Foresters prepared for a physical education test
CINDERFORD are ready for a brutally physical examination against Welsh Premiership side Llandovery tomorrow away (2.30pm), says attack coach Brad Davies.
In their second pre-season clash of the new term, the Foresters will be focusing on fine-tuning their performance after narrowly beating Hartpury last week 12-10 in a derby game.
But now boss Andy Deacon has warned his players that they must up their game if they are to give Llandovery a close contest, after losing 38-19 in last year's pre-season campaign.
Former Gloucester fly-half Davies said: "It will be a really hard test but that is what we have asked for.
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"Cinderford played them last year and lost. Our players know to expect.
"My experience of Welsh teams is that they are traditionally very physical, and they have a good set of backs who are very quick.
"The level goes up again now, and we need to up our game. We want to go there, show off what we've done this week and what we learnt against Hartpury."
Cinderford will be playing with a smaller squad than the 34 men who took on John Barnes' Hartpury side, and Davies said it would be like a normal match-day.
Davies admitted their performance in the narrow win over Hartpury was 'scrappy', but the playing experience was valuable and the side have learnt some crucial lessons ahead of the tough Welsh test.
The Foresters have been working hard on fine-tuning their line-outs in training this week.
Davies said: "A lot of the detail of our line-out wasn't right last week and we are a much better side with a working line-out.
"Pre-season is more about the performance than the result and the performance wasn't great to be honest, so it was good to get the win.
"No disrespect to Hartpury - they were a well-organised, tough and physical side who knew what they were doing, but our performance highlighted lots of areas we need to work on.
"We had 34 players playing over four 20 minutes, so it was difficult to get cohesion.
"But the pre-season game served its purpose and was a valuable experience from what we learnt. It was scrappy to say the least, but we know what we need to work on."