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Barking director of rugby expects performance to be raised by his team, if not they will face the axe for Worthing encounter.

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Barking director of rugby Dean Cutting has threatened his players with the axe if they do not improve after Saturday’s dismal defeat at Canterbury.

They lost at Merton Lane 74-15 despite holding the lead in the opening period, and a second-half disaster saw them comprehensively beaten.

And Cutting has warned his side that they must step it up in training throughout the week, otherwise they’ll face the chop.

“We will ask the question of this group of players throughout the week,” said Cutting.

“It is a hard lesson to learn, but the league doesn’t wait for us and rightly so. If you don’t want to do the hard graft there are plenty more people willing to.

“This week at training will be interesting to see who is going to step up to the plate and is willing to take their medicine.”

Cutting has been boosted by news that club captain Craig Ratford will be back sooner than expected from his shoulder injury.

Initially the fly-half was set to be out of action for six weeks, but that has now been cut to two weeks after a consulatation late last week and Cutting is relishing his impending return.

“Getting Ratty back, someone to steady the ship in a key position, will be a massive plus for us,” he added.

“That’s another couple of weeks down the road, but as I have said before we will always look further down the line as opposed to immediately, about where we are going to come at the end of the season.”

The Goresbrook chief prepares for their first home game of the season against Worthing on Saturday and is confident of turning thlings around.

“We knew the enormity of the task at the start of the season,” he said.

“Trying to gel a completely new team in the National Leagues is not an easy take by any stretch of the imagination.

“We will knuckle down and we will get there. Whilst it isn’t the greatest of starts you don’t get relegated or promoted at the end of August or even early September.”

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