Barking skipper Forde knows they’re not far away

Barking team talk at the final whistle during Upminster RFC vs Barking RFC, London 3 Essex Division

Barking team talk at the final whistle during Upminster RFC vs Barking RFC, London 3 Essex Division Rugby Union at Hall Lane Playing Fields on 14th September 2019 - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Barking captain Joe Forde says his side are not far away from being very competitive in London Three Essex ahead of their clash with Braintree, writes Jacob Ranson.

The Gale Street outfit will travel away to Robbswood on Saturday on the back of a narrow 29-27 defeat to local rivals Ilford Wanderers in a heated contest.

And the skipper knows they are getting close to a first win after losing their opening two league fixtures this campaign.

"From our point of view we're really close to being a real dangerous outfit, we've got all the pieces, a big strong pack and some really good backs," Forde insisted.

"We're not too far away, just a few tweaks across the board in every area, and then we will be very competitive I think."

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Barking know they must start winning, but they want to make sure the improvements among the new-look squad are there first and foremost.

"I think a win is definitely important, purely for trying to build some momentum, but it's early in the season so I don't think anyone is too worried," added Forde.

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"This is such a new squad and we haven't had that much game time together, so we'll get better with each game.

"If we get the win this weekend then great, but what we want to see is big improvements across the park, but it's definitely a game we can win.

"From what I remember last season Braintree are going to be a physical team, but we have enough firepower across the board to match them."

Newly-appointed captain Forde admitted the defeat to Ilford was tough to take, although he did see plenty of positives.

"It's really gutting, they're massive rivals and it's always brutal, and a really physical game when we play each other," he added.

"It was almost a bit of an arm wrestle between forwards and they had quite a big pack, their front row outweighed us by quite a few pounds, and we managed to dominate them in the scrum, so that was a massive positive.

"Their tries mainly came from mistakes from us and we gifted them a lot, that's not great, but our defence held up really well, which I was impressed with."

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