Match Preview – Cinderford (A)

The 1st XV are set to travel to the Forest of Dean on Saturday to take on relegation-threatened Cinderford.

The comfortable win over Sale before the Easter break made it 5 wins on the bounce for the 1st XV and has seen Park take command of 3rd place in the table, with 4th placed Birmingham Moseley now trailing by 6 points with just 3 rounds left to play.

Meanwhile Cinderford currently find themselves in deep waters as they sit in 13th, just 1 point ahead of bottom-of-the-table Taunton, 6 points behind Leicester and 7 points adrift of Bishop’s Stortford.

Cinderford began their campaign in fine form winning 3 of their first 4 matches and 5 of their first 8. This form was fleeting, however, as they have struggled since and will come in to this weekend’s fixture having lost 7 of their last 8. The Gloucestershire outfit have shown glimpses of their potential at points throughout the season and their high points include an impressive win against Plymouth and doing the double over Richmond.

The last time these two sides met was back in early December as the 1st XV triumphed in an entertaining affair that ended 42-29 in Park’s favour. In that match, Benji Marfo, Josh Addams, Austin Hay, Craig Stevenson and Cameron Terry all crossed the whitewash with Player of the Match Luc Smith setting up a try as well as scoring one himself. Josh Bragman also had a phenomenal outing in the 10 jersey as he was excellent with ball in hand as well as going 100% from the tee on the day, converting all 6 tries.

The two teams come into this weekend’s clash on very different runs of form and the pressure that will be on the hosts is far more burdensome. However, Cinderford will be desperate for a win to help in their fight for survival and the 1st XV will have to be on top form to see off the challenge that awaits them in the Forest of Dean.