HELPING Cinderford master the contact area has been the top priority for Gloucester defence coach Paul Moriarty.
The former Newcastle and Scarlets coach has been helping the Foresters at fortnightly training sessions for the last few weeks as the top two county clubs continue to build a blossoming partnership.
The Dockham Road men lie fifth in National One and travel to tenth-placed Old Albanians tomorrow, who toppled league leaders Ealing last week.
Andy Deacon's squad will benefit from all of Moriarty's extensive expertise, with more efficient breakdown techniques being installed into the players for the first month of training.
Once that area has been taken care of, Moriarty says he will move on to improvements away from the tackle area but for now it is all about ruling the ruck.
"You always want to try and finish off a tackle in the dominant position but that doesn't mean a dominant tackle," said Moriarty.
"You're not going to do that by lying on your back so it's trying to get little techniques into it to finish the tackle off.
"I'm trying to get the players to understand and realise that they can work themselves into good positions to influence the contact area.
"At the end of the day what I said to the Cinderford coaches, Dave Pointon, Lee Fortey and Andy Deacon, was it makes no difference what level of rugby you play at, the contact area is where it is all won.
"If you control the contact area then you can get front-foot defence which means you can get good line speed and put pressure on the opposition's attack."
Moriarty said he and Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies were used to working closely with the clubs below them back in Wales and had no problem with helping the National One outfit twice a month.
The two clubs have seen a number of players travel in both directions with Ed King and Ben Sparks being named on the bench for the Ospreys trip tonight.
While Cherry and Whites scrum-half Dave Lewis helped Cinderford poach a bonus-point despite defeat at Esher in their last road trip.
The Foresters have just one road success so far this term following a 25-20 win at Cambridge in the campaign curtain-raiser and Moriarty says he knows how tough it is to get away victories.
"I know what this league is like in a way from being at Newcastle and working with the likes of Tynedale and Blaydon and it is tough to win away," he added.
"Unless you are a top side it is going to be difficult to win away because of the travelling and work commitments that go with it.
"You are not always able to put your best team out because some people may not be able to play every week so it is hard to win away in this league."