Scott wants Cheltenham to play final friendly like league game
CHELTENHAM are ignoring the hype that comes with a derby when they travel to take on Chosen Hill in their final pre-season clash tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm)
Head coach Chris Scott said his side will be treating the game as a dress rehearsal to prepare for Windsor in their opening game of the South West Division season next weekend.
While the Newlands Park outfit are expecting a brutal test from the Gloucester side, Scott will use it as an opportunity to play more structured rugby and showcase aspects of the game they have been working on in training.
Scott said: "We've had two pre-season games already and tried a lot of things out and tried different combinations.
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"This week we are hopefully going to use a more structured team this weekend, and play it how we would a league game.
"We have established what areas we need to work on as a consequence of the other pre-season games, and we're looking to employ that work on Saturday.
"We want to make our game a bit tighter and a bit more structured.
"Last year we were really good in the breakdown area, but we haven't been performing as well in the first two games.
"Hopefully I will see a big improvement on Saturday because that is a massive part of our game."
Scott believes Tribute Western Counties North side Chosen Hill's style of play will be a good test for Cheltenham's forwards, and will act as the perfect preparation for the first league match against Windsor.
Scott said: "They are a tough Gloucester team, tough up front, and they will put us under pressure up front.
"Windsor have a big forward pack, and they've got some big hitters in the contact area, and hopefully that will harden us up for that test."
Cheltenham played Stroud last week, losing four tries to two, and Scott admits he learnt lessons from that test.
Now is the time, he says, for his players to start playing 'proper rugby'.
He added: "We just threw the ball around.
"We wanted to use it as a bit of fun, see what we were like in the area, but when you are expansive like that you concede tries.
"So now we have to balance it. We have to get all the fundamentals spot on, like the scrums and line-outs.
"That gives us the foundation for any game."
Scott is also using the final friendly to have one last look at new faces in the squad who will be staking their claim for a place in the first team.
While the coach said he was pleased with how both new faces and younger players had fared so far, he believes there is more to come if the side are to achieve their aim of top four this season.
Scott said: "It's too early to say what impact they will have, but I've been really pleased so far.
"This Saturday will be a chance to have a really good look at the players, while some of them are already in the frame for starting.
"Younger players are coming through too which is great.
"Harry Priestner showed up well in the first game, and Matt Brookes who has played at Under-19 level has also impressed.
"But we are looking for more players and want to build a bigger squad."
If you would like to play for Cheltenham, contact head coach Chris Scott on 07894 680838.