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Cinderford RFC: We must up the intensity, says Roger Birkin

By lauracfell  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

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IN-FORM flanker Roger Birkin will be relying on a bit of All Black grit when Richmond come to Dockham Road tomorrow (2.30pm).

The former Bay of Plenty man knows how important this fixture is.

If the Foresters are to avenge the heavy National One 55-20 defeat in the away fixture, they must up the intensity in a bid to avoid their 12th defeat of the term.

And the fixture has added gravitas – Richmond are two positions above Cinderford in the table.

After missed tackles proved costly in their 62-28 defeat to former Championship boys Doncaster Knights, Birkin (inset) is asking for a more aggressive approach to the London outfit and will be drawing on his experiences in New Zealand as inspiration.

The 24-year-old said; “We are always looking for a win at home.

“And this game is a 10-point win, it really is so important. Our focus this week has been on contact, we had a very physical session and we really must make sure we keep that intensity up.

“Our aggression must improve. we fell off tackles last week, and that could be down to the intensity we took into the game.

“We have got to beat them physically, and we have got to get stuck in.

“In New Zealand, the culture of rugby is truly bred into you.

“The one thing I learned is win or lose you have to give everything. “Over there, you get grilled in the clubhouse afterwards if you lose and you have to be able to say you did your best.”

The electrical engineer is embroiled in fierce competition for his starting spot, with the likes of Will Keenan, George Mills, Joe Garner and Marcus Brown challenging for a starting berth after injury to Adam Balding.

Birkin added: “The competition makes you work harder.

“We are stronger than ever, and the fight makes you a better player. I expect more from myself, and know the things I am doing well and what I need to improve. I just need to do my best.”

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