VIDEO: Cinderford have to be mentally tougher in league, says Deacon
CINDERFORD boss Andy Deacon said his players must be mentally tougher if they are to find success in National One – starting with Richmond on Saturday.
Following their 35-5 drubbing at the hands of promotion-favourites Doncaster, 321-cap Gloucester prop Deacon rued a lack of cutting edge which cost the Foresters try-scoring opportunities and points on the board.
The taskmaster was also left bewildered by what he felt was a greater injection of energy in the last five minutes then he saw in the first five minutes of the game, when the Knights scored their first of five converted try.
While this may suggest fitness work completed in training is paying off, it left Deacon frustrated that it took that long for the hosts to get on the scoreboard.
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He explained: "It shows that when we need to do it, we do it.
"We need a tougher mental edge. Doncaster were really well-drilled, they were streetwise and had a cutting edge we lacked.
"Doncaster are really well-drilled defensively and they had a plan. We were held up by turnovers, we struggled with Doncaster's power and we struggled to keep the ball.
"Against guys like this, you've got to keep ball and not just roll over after two or three phases.
"We've got to work on that, we've got to speed up the ruck and have more direction, we need continuity and we still need to work on our game management.
Cinderford face ninth-placed Richmond away this Saturday, and are under no illusion about the immensity of this task.
The London-outfit put seven tries past the Foresters last season, thrashing the visitors 53-20.
At home however, Cinderford held Richmond to a 20-20 stalemate.
Deacon said: "The fixtures in the league keep coming and coming.
"They don't get any easier. We are under no illusions how difficult it will be at Richmond away.
"But every game is different. Being in this league, with a game every week, you can rectify the result from the week before, and turn those losses to wins."